Whilst I personally love January and the exciting fresh start it represents, I understand that this is not the case for many. Moreover, despite how much I love new beginnings, I can’t deny that the first month does come with a few downfalls famously titled ‘the January Blues’. The festive excitement is over, travelling too and from work in the dark is no fun, and you can no longer ignore how drastically low the temperatures are. It’s a difficult month to get through and over the years I’ve found myself shifting from hating January to loving it! Although I can’t speak for SAD sufferers, I can tell you that shifting your mindset is easier than one would initially think.
Fashion isn’t just what you put on your body or a means to fit into a certain crowd. On the surface it can certainly be deemed superficial but it can change your whole mood, give a boost of confidence and offers a healthy outlet for self-expression. It is an art which is often overlooked, particularly in the mornings when you’re rushing around like a headless chicken and late for work. The fact remains, taking more care in how you dress has the power to make a positive impact on your everyday life. Here are my five top tips to surviving January in style!
Colour, colour and more colour!
So you’re heading out the door wearing an old pair of grey pants and a faded shirt with a questionable mark on the left sleeve? No wonder, you’re so grumpy. Weather we realise it or not, the forecast often choses our outfits for us. You really think that mirroring the gloomy rain outside with equally dull and miserable attire is the way to go?
Wearing bold colours could really improve your overall mood for the day and they certainly shouldn’t only be considered during the hotter days of the year. It doesn’t have to be a bright yellow raincoat and boots to match but simply a hot pink trench coat over your casual esquire on grocery day or tucking a red blouse into your work pants -as I have done here- can make a positive impact.
Practice the 4-minute rule
I came across this rule quite recently and it’s been one of the best things I’ve put into practice in my life, thus far. The four minute rule is quite simple but highly effective. Make a conscious decision that for the first four minutes of arriving at work, walking into a meeting, travelling home, etc, you will be your best self. The feeling you will gain will be one of utter amazement at how uplifted you feel and it will infect those around you too. Those January blues will be gone in a flash.
The festive fun doesn’t have to end
As soon as Boxing Day morning is upon us, it’s as though Christmas never happened! The festivities are ignored and the excitement in the air has disappeared but it doesn’t have to. Although I’m a total scrooge, I still love doing those fun winter activities right through January and I highly recommend everyone else does too. Sure, most of us are back at work and the season is really starting to take it’s toll, however, you don’t have to be miserable. This is only going to increase those January Blues. Instead, choose to go ice skating, build a fire and roast cruelty free marshmallows, wear snowflake earrings and sparkly winter jumpers. The festive fun doesn’t have to end. Just because it’s no longer December doesn’t mean the excitement must stop too.
Be grateful for what you have
Whilst I believe that gratitude should be a daily practice, placing more emphasis at the start of the year is highly recommended. January is famous for good intentions that are not carried through into the rest of the year, however, I have found that practicing gratitude during the first and second month ensures a higher success rate for the rest of your life! Appreciation comes in many forms and you may be surprised at how easy it can be. When we acknowledge all the wonderful things we are fortunate to have, our thoughts shift to positive and our happiness increases.
Whilst simply sitting on the train home or spending a few moments before falling asleep being thankful that you have a roof over your head and food on your table, there are many more ways to practice gratitude which aren’t always suggested. As the title states, my focus is on fashion and how you can use this to avoid the ‘January Blues’. Much to my dismay, the ‘new beginnings’ mindset which January brings, has both it’s pros and cons. One of the latter being the amount of waste caused by those whom have decided to rid themselves of possessions simply because it’s a new year. Whilst most of this can be avoided by considering conscious consumerism (say that five times really fast), re-evaluating the clothes you have in your wardrobe before considering throwing them away is highly recommended. It may surprise you how re-wearing outfits which you once loved can change your perception. Likewise, attempting to re-style your clothing in new and eclectic ways may give you a new appreciation of what you have.
Browse through my Style Secrets for ideas on how to style certain items of clothing and read through my Crucial Classics for the best wardrobe staples and how to make the most of your investments. There are other ways to feel like you’re making a fresh start without throwing away perfectly good items and contributing even further to the destruction of our planet.
Pretend the sun is shining
Perhaps the worst part of January is the dark winter mornings and finding the will-power to rise out of bed in what seems like the middle of the night. It can certainly wreak havoc on your mental health and whilst I do not claim to be an expert on this area, I can vouch for myself when I say that consciously choosing to be happier (even if it’s just marginally) and putting this into practice can work wonders. I’m not saying that you need to jump out of bed and radiate the same irritating positivity as Spongebob Squarepants but simply telling yourself that you are going to be happy today the moment you wake up really does improve things.
When the sun is out, our serotonin levels increase making us happier. Of course, there is a lack of sunlight during the winter which adds to the January blues with many already sufferers of SAD (season affective disorder). If this is the case, then pretending the sun is shining will do little to help you. However, for the rest of us, remembering and channelling those same emotions we feel on a summer morning could really help. Have you noticed that you take more care of yourself during the summer than the winter? We shave our legs, chose cuter outfits, spend more time outdoors and eat lighter healthier meals. What would happen to those winter blues if you did this all year round?
Perhaps it’s time to put together outfits that make you excited to wear, experiment with fun makeup looks and spend an extra few minuets on your self-care routine each day. How loud are those blues playing now?
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Do you have any January style tips?