Monday 4 February 2019

How I beat the January-blues

I've just spent my first night in the She Shed! I can't believe that I haven't done it sooner, it was so cozy! We're keeping the cats in there during the arctic temperatures we're having right now (it was -21 degrees Celsius last night/-6 F), and since it's being heated with a wood stove I slept there to keep the fire going all night. It was very much like my old teenage fantasies about rugged-Canadian living, I loved it! Apart from the fact that the cats tried to eat my toes several times throughout the night, and the little boy Louis licked my eyelids this morning which is a very strange sensation 😂  

At the end of last year I thought I would give my 1-Second-Everyday-project a break this year, but I automatically just kept going haha! I just love recording memories, what can I say?
Before I get into what happened in January, let's take a look at the video:

January is traditionally my least favourite month of the year. Sure, I like the first few days that are filled with excitement and a bunch of fresh goals, but one week in and I'm usually over it. The darkness, the cold, the blahness of it all - January is a tough month. 
But this time around it has been much better than usual!

I made a few tweaks to my normal routine that have made a huge difference:

1. Gratitude journal  
Every morning I take a few minutes to write down what I'm grateful for. It's such a small thing, but it really helps set a positive tone for the day ahead. I highly recommend it!

2. Nightly cup of tea
I used to think that tea is boring. Yes, I was that person. But since I'm on call a week at a time (which means no wine) I started drinking more tea, and it's really grown on me! Now it's part of my night-time ritual to make myself a cup of Sleepytime tea and I'm really looking forward to it! Cats, tea, books - all I need are rollers in my hair and my transformation into an old lady will be complete. 

3. Working on my goals
One of the annoying things about January is that it's such a boring month. There is little to look forward to since spring and vacation are still far away, and even simple pleasures like spending time outside aren't much fun when the air hurts. But there's a solution for that: create things to look forward to! One of my biggest, reach-for-the-stars crazy dreams is to be published by The New York Times. I know I know, me and every other writer on the planet, right? They have a feature that I love called Modern Love, and last week I submitted an essay to them! It takes 3 months just to hear back, and the chances that they'll accept mine are tiny (they get a ton of submissions), but every time I'm thinking about it I get a warm glow in my tummy. Just the possibility is exciting, no matter how unlikely! It would be such a dream come true. 

4. Laughter
The best way to cheer up is by laughing! I just finished watching Friends from College on Netflix, and it's hilarious! Very funny, the perfect antidote to grey and cold days. Another funny feel-good show is The Mindy Project, and for something more sinister but addictive and deliciously creepy I recommend You.

5. Stretching
I know that many of us are struggling with low energy this time of year. If you can't motivate yourself to work out, stretching is a great alternative! It feels amazing, it's relaxing, and it's good for you! Triple win. I'm doing these stretches pretty much every day together with a few sun salutations and cat/cow.

6. Doctor's appointments
This may seem strange, but I like to book all my yearly doctor's appointments in January. That way they're out of the way for the rest of the year, and I always feel relieved when everything comes back clear. I got my yearly check-up done, had my eyes checked, and I finally booked an appointment with a dermatologist to take a look at my many moles on my back. That one has been on my list for years, and I finally took the plunge. Keeping my fingers crossed that nothing is malignant back there!

7. Lots of R&R
Last but not least, I like to take it easy this time of year. Plenty of rest, tons of water, lots of salads, citrus fruits and some sweets (sweets make me happy) are non-negotiable. In the winter I'm often in bed by 8 (further manifesting my granny-status), take hot baths, curl up with a book or watch my friends from Seattle Grace Hospital. 

This was one of the best Januarys I've had in years (except for the ones in the past where we went on vacation), and I credit listening to my body and taking it easy for it. 
The time for being more active will come again together with warmer weather, but for now, I'm happy to relax!

Have a great week!
xoxo Miriam



  1. Thank you for this! I am a tax accountant and this time of year is work 7 days a week, long and stressful days. It is a badge of honor to be exhausted, if your not exhausted you are not working hard enough! I slept for 10 hours last night, allowed myself to go to bed at 8:00 and forced myself not to feel guilty about it, I kept thinking of this post and thought "yeah! my body is asking for this rest, it needs it and it's natural. Miriam said so"

    1. Dear Anita, I'm so glad you slept! Sleep is the first thing we prescribe to our kids and anyone who's feeling under the weather because it's SO important, yet we are reluctant to give it to ourselves. Like you said, sleep deprivation is seen as a badge of honor, which is the most ridiculous scheme we ever bought into - it only benefits the people we work for, and nobody else!
      Take all the rest you need during this stressful period, you will be all the better for it!

  2. I love the pic of all the critters sleeping on the red couch. I bet they enjoy the comfort of the camaraderie! I am going to try the gratitude journal idea; I think that sounds like a great way to remember the good things in life however small. And good luck on the NYTimes submission, wouldn’t that be awesome!

    1. Oh, it would be one of my proudest moments! Keeping my fingers crossed for that one.
      The dogs and cats love hanging out together, and I love it even more ❤
      Please give the gratitude journal a try, it's a real life changer. A small one, but a goodie!


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