In my adorable new notebook gifted from a friend, I had started to plan potential blog posts for the upcoming couple months in 2021. At the top of my list was “the ways I banish those January blues”. Then, coming at no surprise, we were all dished a double dose of blues. A very stodgy, unappetising sandwich combining January AND lockdown 3.0. Now this month for me isn’t all that appealing, mainly because it is the time Christmas withers away into the bitter chill of the January air. HOWEVER, I have a handful of birthdays to spur me on after Christmas has packed its bags and retired for the next three seasons. My friends’ birthdays are always the goalpost marker to keep me upbeat and excited through the slog of post-festive blues. The beginning of a new year thrills me, but the sudden, stark absence of the Christmas merriment leaves me feeling a little lost for a while, unsure of how to function without metres of tinsel surrounding the room and festive tunes in the background. But with the added element of another lockdown, I had to get to work adapting those plans!
Original January plan: Plan social events, trips and nice things with loved ones.
Lockdown plan: Still plan because who knows; facetime as often as possible; appreciate previous outings/trips to give you the positivity to start planning possible things for this year.
* I would normally plan days out, nights in, trips and just general lovely ways to spend time, but of course, that is a little hard to do now with the uncertainty of our current situation. We have a few trips booked this year, two of which were postponed from the 2020 lockdown. Positive thinking tells me that this is almost a blessing in disguise as it means I can be excited for these trips for even longer, pushing the build up to travelling even higher. It has become a situation where people are continuing to work but do not have the luxury to treat themselves to trips/days that we were previously accustomed to. We have adapted to the “we’d better not book in case” way of thinking, so it will only be more incredible when we can set a date for an event and know that it will be able to happen (most of the time)!
Original January plan: Be grateful. This is always something I thoroughly believe in.
Lockdown plan: Be grateful. Like I said, this is something I thoroughly believe in.
*You can find gratitude even in the darkest of places. Some days, it may be a challenge to seek something you are grateful for. I respect the fact that everyone has different experiences and walks of life, but for me, I am determined to find gratitude within every waking day. Whether it be the colours of the morning sunrise, or the warming scent of your tea cooking, we can attach our gratefulness to something.
Original January plan: Join the gym or sign up for an exercise class.
Lockdown plan: Start running, home workouts and walk!
*This time last year I made the first new year’s resolution I have stuck to properly, which was to complete the couch to 5k programme. Gathered at a NYE party in the early hours of January 1st 2020, I sat complaining about how unfit I was and how I couldn’t run for 30 seconds let alone for the time it would take to complete a 5k! Now, a year on I have achieved a 10k run by November and have embedded running 5k distances into my normal life. I always found exercise a fad, something to have a go at but grow tired of within two sessions. Apart from enjoying spin classes at the gym, I found I was paying a membership for no reason as I couldn’t fully commit. During lockdown 1.0, I also discovered a liking for boxing and dance home workouts. If you ever want to feel as though you are having fun whilst getting your heart pumping, dance workouts are incredible!
Original January plan: Cut out crisps and the naughty things I love.
Lockdown Plan: Ignore the above ha!
* If you love something, I just cannot support banishing it from your life (unless it is illegal of course).
I cut crisps out for a few months last year and although it helped me feel healthy, would it have really made a difference by having the odd bag here and there? NO! In moderation, the things you love should have a permanent place in your life. Life is too short to not eat the Pringles! Plus, we all need some simple pleasures through the 3rd lockdown! You deserve it.
Original January plan: To eat vegan as often as possible.
Lockdown Plan: Same as above.
*As a vegetarian, my diet is halfway along the track towards veganism. I intentionally and unintentionally eat vegan for a large portion of the week anyway! But I have made a vow to consciously eat vegan as often as possible for the morality of it as well as the health benefits.
Original January plan: Stop worrying too much about pleasing everyone and stop caring what people think of you.
Lockdown plan: The same as above!
* As a people pleaser, I over-worry about making everyone happy. I panic that people are being funny with me when in reality, they are most likely having a bad day or aren’t feeling 100% themselves. As long as I know I am a good person, I don’t need to spend time worrying about what people think of me anymore. This also applies to people comparing you to others. Bye-bye overthinking!