Alleviating the January Blues - part one

January is such a LONG month. Christmas is over. The days are  short and dark and cold. The news is gloomy and I’ve eaten too much recently. Summer warmth and balmy days seem a distant promise.

How to stave off the annual bleak midwinter blues of January?

The trick is to prevent them before they have time to begin. To have a survival kit ready to pull out at a moment’s notice.

So, over the next few days, I’m putting together my suggestions. I've already blogged about how to make sure you can keep those New Year Resolutions; now comes the survival kit!

First, I’m following another rather more famous cleric – the Rev Sydney Smith, who also suffered from low spirits in the winter and who wrote to a friend in 1820 offering ideas for winter solace.

“1st,” he wrote, “live as well as you dare.”  I like that.

He then advocated cool showers, the avoidance of poetry, music and serious words, and not to expect too much from human life. Those I am not so keen on.

But what about some of his other suggestions:

-       amusing books

-       being as busy as you can

-       attending to the effects coffee and tea produce upon you

-       being as much as you can in the open air

-       making the room ‘where you commonly sit gay and pleasant’

-       don’t be too severe upon yourself

-       keep good blazing fires

-       ‘be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion’

-       ‘short views of human life – not further than dinner or tea’

-       see as much as you can of friends who like you – and of acquaintances who amuse you



My survival kit now has a few good things in it. What might  you add to the list?

But yet, it's not enough....  so come back  later this week for  parts two and three - why not sign up to have them delivered straight into your inbox?