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How to Shake those January Blues.

It's back to work after time off with my family and the excitement of Christmas is all over. It's now 2018! A new year full of potential opportunities and beginnings - so why is it always so hard to be positive in January?! Since late August I've been working long hours in the run up to the Christmas period to ensure everyone's orders were out in time for the big day. So now it's all over I'm left feeling a little deflated. I am going to crack on with new blog posts, update my shop and work on personal projects but I thought I would share a few things that I do to help fight my January Blues.

- Take a break from social media. Social media massively fuels my blues as it's far too easy to compare your life to others - so I'm going to take a bit of a break from it. I'm not saying I'm going to give it up completely (without it I couldn't do my job) but I am going to make a point of not scrolling endlessly through profiles that I purely follow to torture myself with. Everyone tries to project their best self on social media (I'm definitely guilty of it too) so not everything might be as rosy as it seems.

In the light of being honest, I've been really struggling with feelings of self doubt recently and massively comparing myself to others. I definitely listen to my inner critic a little too often and suffer from 'Imposter syndrome' - feeling like I'm a fraud, I'm not good enough and that I should give up. But I am a pretty determined person and it will take a lot for me to give up on something when I think it's worthwhile. I'm very much a believer in the best things in life not coming easy. One of my favourite quotes that motivates me is : 'If you don't build your own dream, someone else with hire you to help build theirs.' (Tony Gaskins)

- Listen to a Motivational Podcast. My favourite is the 'One Girl Band Podcast' by Brighton based coach Lola Hoad, who shares her insights into being a One Girl Band. It's great for me as it's aimed at women working alone and running a creative business. However, it has lots of tips and advice on mindset and self care which I think you can apply to your general daily life as well. It always makes me feel super motivated after listening to it and fuels my passion for making stuff again. I think working by yourself at home can feel quite isolating so it's nice to know there's a lot of others out there in the same boat.

- Read 'You are a Bad Ass at Making Money' by Jen Sincero If you're a small business owner like me, January can be a scary time financially, as orders a few and far between - plus Christmas is always an expensive event. This book may not automatically line my pockets with cash but it certainly puts you in a more positive mood to address your finances. It promises to give you the tools to shape your reality and tap into your natural ability to grow rich.

- Do some exercise. I cannot recommend this highly enough. I started running when I was 19/20 (around 8 years ago) during a particularly awful time in my life. I am by no means a natural runner - I used to come last in every race at school. But I was pretty desperate for anything to help with how I was feeling and I had read that exercise released endorphins and helped with a low mood. I gave it a go and it immediately gave me a routine and a sense of purpose. I've run 2-4 times a week ever since. It takes my mind off any negative thoughts as well as giving me energy for the rest of the day and making me feel good about my body. It also means you can scoff a packet of biscuits in the afternoon without feeling too guilty. If running isn't your thing - try Yoga. Yoga with Adriene is a great Youtube channel with daily tutorials that eases you into a routine practice. You can choose the kind of intensity you want, depending on how you're feeling that day, all in the comfort in your own living room.

- Try something new! This January, Ollie and I are trying Veganuary - where you pledge to eat a vegan diet in the whole of January. Once you sign up, they send you an email everyday with information to make being vegan easy. I've been a vegetarian since I was about 7. I never really liked the taste of meat or liked the idea of eating a dead thing. It was never a particularly difficult decision and I can't say it was for ethical reasons (I mean I was 7!) Ollie is/was a meat eater, but obviously at home I only ever cook veggie food. We do normally eat A LOT of dairy so this is going to be a big change to our diet but a welcome one. I am excited to cook a lot of new things from scratch and be more aware of what we are putting in our bodies. After reading more about dairy farming I think it would be hypercritical of us to carry on eating so much dairy claiming to be animal lovers, so this is definitely going to be more of a long term change.

I hope these give you some ideas and help you on your way to make some more positive changes. I am certainly going to take some of my own advice! HANG IN THERE BABY! It'll get better.


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