January is such a LONG month. Christmas is over. The days are short and dark and cold. The news is grim and gloomy, even scary. Everyone we know seems to have some kind of virus and feels poorly; and we’ve probably all 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. Remind our souls of better ways, ways to prevent the advance of Seasonally Adjusted Depression. 10 ways to beat those blues away.
Follow 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 and am disregarding!
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
Today, I've taken a brisk walk in beautiful surroundings; have a good fire blazing away; aromatherapy oils scenting the air; planning no further than some delicious food for a (light) supper and the relaxation of a quiet Sunday evening after the joy of joining with other Christians In Malmesbury Abbey at 4pm. It all feels really rather good!
But yet, it's not enough.... so come back over the next two week for parts two and three, which will include a fun survival kit, and some other solutions. Why not sign up to have them delivered straight into your inbox?
What might you add to the list?