The first in a monthly (duh) series, of ways to welcome in the new month by doing the most seasonal, atypical yet totally feel-good things the month has to offer!
Get your shit together. Go through THAT drawer at home. You know the one. We all have one. Stuffed full o’shite and Christ-knows-what. Old take-away menus, rusty keys, elastic bands. Foreign currency, stamps so old they’ve lost their stick and tens of tape measures. Chuck out all your old bank statements and phone bills (if they’re not needed. Ones from 2003 are definitely NOT needed). Organise your desk. Get a new notebook. Some fancy new pens. Start keeping that journal you always wanted to, or penning that novel you keep putting off for fear of failure. Make a fresh start – there’s no better time than the dawning of a new year.
Get a physical, old-skool, by-month calendar and hang it up somewhere prominent – your kitchen is good. Get organised, make future plans. Plot. Scheme. Decide where you’d like to go on holiday and when. Choose some weekends for escaping on city breaks. Name that festival you’d like to go to. Write it all in. Create Pinterest boards to inspire you to get there.
Get creative. Go to an art shop and buy the things that catch your eye, from chunky little tubs of bright acrylic paint to packs of pretty pastels or shitloads of glitter. Don’t forget a pad. Your very own blank canvas. Don’t think, just draw. See what your mind unleashes. You never know, you could be the next Banksy. If you need a helping hand, investigate workshops and classes. I want to try this modern calligraphy workshop hosted by Quill London. Come?
Nest. Surround yourself with fancy mismatched cushions and patterned throw to create a makeshift den. Put the fire on, if you have one, otherwise crank up the central heating. Nap. Have toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch. Make your own soup from chicken bone stock and a load of chopped-up chunky vegetables. Mmmm.
Get set to hibernate. Invest in some luxe pyjamas (this silky printed pair are my current faves, from ASOS) and cosy knitted slipper socks. Treat yourself to a big hug in a mug by heating up a cup of almond milk in a pan and adding a teaspoon of almond butter, two teaspoons of raw cacao, two tablespoons of date syrup. Stir gently and don’t let it boil. Pour into your favourite mug, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and enjoy!
Do a trawl of your local charity shops, or find an affluent area nearby and check out the ones there. Find hidden treasures. Donate your own unwanted treasure *cough* Christmas presents *cough* Feel good for ‘giving something back’… and then treat yourself by buying a small trinket from the charity shop #THECIRCLEOFLIFE
Bake something. If you don’t know how, learn. Try The Londoner’s infamous Slutty Brownies. Or Deliciously Ella’s banana bread. Don’t be a dick like me and avoid baking for years for fear of it all going wrong. Chances are, it won’t. And if it does? Guess what? IT DOESN’T MATTER. You learn, you move on (you won’t repeat your mistake), you get to lick out the bowl. WINNING.
Stop reading so many trashy magazines. They’re mostly full of shit, anyway. Set up a subscription for a select title or two that you’ll really enjoy. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m fifty-million years old or what, but these days I enjoy reading Red and Psychologies! Subscribe and let them plop onto your doormat every month. Not only will you avoid the temptation of the magazine rack, but you’ll save a couple of quid, too.
Have more indulgent baths more often. Applicable only if you have one, I know. But if you do, buy some soothing sea salts (a LIFE-CHANGING purchase) and swirl a few generous scoops to your bath water. Plus a couple of drops of oil (I swear by Chanel, dah-ling, but natural essential oils would also work). Light as many candles as you can fit on your windowsill/toilet seat and turn off the light. Relax. Soak until your skin resembles a camel’s sun-dried knackersack. Actually, don’t do that – and you shouldn’t have the bath water piping hot either, but whatevs… Apply a face mask. even better, make your own, from banana, oatmeal and honey. Pamper yo’self!
Buy a bunch of flowers. It’s a cliché for A REASON. Supermarkets often have bargain bouquets going cheap and they almost always last for a week, if you look after them. And try and put a plant in every room, if you can. Because every room needs something living. Put one on your desk at work.
Wrap up warm and go for a walk. Explore your neighbourhood. Your nearest park or green space. Or, if you live in or near London, why not try walking the London LOOP? Take in big lungfuls of fresh air. Listen to the birds singing. Appreciate the trees. Seriously, they’re pretty cool, right? They are, like, WELL OLD and help you breathe. Hug one. I’m kidding. Take photos. Upload one to Instagram (you know you want to). Feel smug. And happy. And ALIVE.
If you manage to do any of these things, share a pic on Instagram and tag with #HelloJanuary – I’d love to seeeeee!