january blues

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When I was younger, I never understood why people hate January so much. Winter is my favourite season – that lack of daylight? Great excuse to be in your pajamas by 6 pm. And sweaters? Sweaters are right up there as humanity’s best invention. Another big pro for January: my birthday is this month, and I thought that should be enough to cheer everyone up (modesty has never been my strong suit). But this year, more than most, I get it.

January is tough. A lot of people are diving headfirst into a new year, weighed down by ambitious resolutions and met with cold weather, short days, and a sense of unavoidable failure. To top it all off, I read that today is unofficially dubbed “Blue Monday,” aka the saddest day of the year.

Here are a few things I’ve been trying to beat the “January blues”. I hope this month – and today in particular – you find extra reasons to be happy.

Beating the January Blues

1// Plan for the seasons. This might seem obvious, but there’s nothing worse than coming up with really fun plans only to have them ruined by the weather. I visited a few parks when I was in London earlier this month, and although they were beautiful – and very quiet! – I couldn’t stay for long before my fingers were freezing and the sky was getting dark. Instead, spend winter doing all the things that seem like a waste of a lovely day in summertime: movie marathons, baking, painting, visiting museums, re-decorating or re-arranging your room, or spending an afternoon at that fancy coffee shop you’ve been meaning to visit.

2// Invest in long-term gratification. I’ve spent the past few years trying to get better at this, which is tough when you have virtually no will power! But if you’re feeling down this time of year, it can help to have something to look forward to (and I don’t mean spring). Buy a film camera so you have to wait for the pictures to be developed, or mail a package to a friend so they’ll be surprised in a couple of weeks. If it feels like you don’t have anything exciting coming up, make something yourself!

3// Try a short-term challenge/scheduled program. Go vegan for a week or read 5 books this month. This 30 day yoga challenge is absolutely brilliant and super fun (although, tbh, I never made it past day 10. Maybe this year!). If you’re anything like me, having short-term goals that promise noticeable results can make you feel productive even in your lowest season.

Please tell me how you deal with feeling down this time of year. I hope January is good to you, and that you’re extra good to yourself. Happy Blue Monday (blue is a very nice colour, after all)!

hey Monday

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It’s a Monday, and that usually means one of three things:

  1. It’s awful
  2. It’s awful
  3. It’s really not that bad

I’m writing this because this morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I’m on my second cup of coffee, slowly coming to terms with the fact that the weekend is over and giving up isn’t an option. I’m writing this because these are all the things I needed to hear, and I thought you could use them too.

So if you’re ever having a tough day – Monday or otherwise – here are a few things I’d like you to remember:

Good morning. It’s a Monday, and that means that you need to wake up and face the day. Stare down your to do list, hop on the bus, get to class and just keep going. Because no matter what you have to do today, you are the very best person for the job.

You are strong – the kind of strong that can stand up to chilly mornings and 7 am alarms. Even rude drivers and grumpy professors can’t match you. You are strong enough to move mountains, carry around venti lattes, and lift other people up.

You are kind – kind enough to meet eyes with gloomy strangers on their way to work and smile. Kind enough to shake off your tiredness, say thank you when the barista hands you your coffee, and give up your seat on the bus even when you really, really don’t want to.

And lastly, you are graceful. You might be the kind of person to complain – loudly, vividly – when forced to get out of bed before noon, but you’ve got the kind of grace that makes Monday bearable. You aren’t afraid of struggle and you don’t back down from bad days. You pull yourself together, not just once a week but on the daily, toss off the blankets and go.

Monday might be the day that we blame for our troubles (see: Garfield), but you are so many great things every day of the week.

It takes grit, heart, and a whole lot of willpower to to keep on going. So this is a friendly reminder to stop, add an extra sugar to your tea and play some Kanye on your commute. I hope you have a good Monday, Tuesday, any-day-of-the-week and remember, it can be tough but you are so much more.