I think that even the most cheery of us would be all over the concept of a happier January. It's a long month, we're coming down from the high of Christmas, money is in short supply and all around us, we're bombarded by 'get fit', 'eat healthy', 'be a better person'. It's a lot of pressure and all while the weather is doing its usual fun thing. So here are our top tips to help make January just that little bit happier..Social Media Detox
Given we are a business that depends on social media so much for business and for communicating with our customers, this is an interesting one to have as my top step to a happier January. But I'm not suggesting you go cold turkey on it - instead banish the negativity.
A good example of this is all the social media around #BlueMonday. I don't know about you but Monday was actually going ok until I read on Facebook that I was supposed to be feeling blue. Almost all the business accounts (and a few friends) I follow had some mention of Blue Monday and by the time I trawled through them, I was feeling pretty blue. So Bog Standard online didn't mention it once. Instead, we drew a lucky winner of our latest competition and celebrated that.
During January, detox the people and businesses you follow so that what you're seeing is positive, encouraging and inspiring. Don't be afraid to hide some friends from your feed, not because you don't like them but because what they share brings you down a bit - we all have a few of those! Equally, unfollow anything that shares gossip, bad news and negativity or is in any way judgy. Yes Daily Mail, I'm looking at you.
Get outside once every day this month. No matter the weather or whatever else is going on with you. Just get yourself moving in fresh air for 15 or 20 minutes...and even better if you can do this in daylight. Get off the bus at an earlier stop, take a quick walk around your office block, take the kids to the park for a quick visit after the school run. A favourite of mine for January is instead of meeting a friend for coffee, I meet them for a walk to the coffee shop. Or I arrange to meet them somewhere that I can either walk to from my home or drive part of the way and walk the rest. Don't underestimate the power of fresh air and exercise. I find myself puzzling through things on walks and often I come up with great ideas or plans that my head has been too busy to process the rest of the day.
Connections & Kindness
If you make only one resolution this year, make it to connect with with someone you've not seen for a while. Someone you keep saying 'we must do coffee' to...but never get round to it. Send them a message or phone them up and instead of saying 'we should do coffee', say 'are you free on 'x' day to catch up?'
Or someone you keep intending to ring but never get round to - put a reminder in your phone for a time you know you'll be at home and just ring them. You'll make their day and your mind will be free of the nagging 'must ring' intention. You will feel great afterwards - so often we text or email instead of phoning but speaking to people is a much more powerful connection that lifts the spirt - both yours and the person you've phoned.
Writing a letter or a card to someone for no particular reason is another way to connect. Just to say you're thinking of them and that you hope they are well. Think how you will change their day with such an act of kindness and your own heart will be fuller for doing it.
And I don't mean resolutions here - I mean think ahead to a few key dates during the year ahead and perhaps making some plans or arrangements. Getting through January is helped greatly by knowing you have something to look forward to, something to work towards - be it a holiday or a visit to a friend, some home improvements or a house move, a change of jobs or just thinking about getting out in the garden in the summer. I love to flick through my diary and add in birthdays, school holidays and this year I'm scheduling in a new bathroom...it helps to remind me that warmer days are only a few pages ahead and that there is lots to look forward to.
Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we possess and the merest hint of something familiar can trigger a special memory or wonderful moment in our lives. Having a calming, pleasant fragrance in your home, office or car will help to bring your mind back to a happier place. Every time I get into my car, I love that initial 'hit' of my Bog Standard Rose Freshener - it reminds me of summer and I think of my mum.....it even prompts me to phone her, which is no bad thing!
Our fragrances are all based around the concept of basic luxury, the simple everyday things like a field of sweet clover, wild brambles and fragrant roses and freshly laundered linen. There's nothing overpowering or synthetic about any of them and our packaging is simple and unfussy. All designed to calm the mind. Oh and they won't break the bank either - the perfect January mood lifter.
Or why not buy for someone you know is struggling at the moment. I bought some of our Hedgerow votive candles & soaps (currently on offer) and I've been slowly giving them away here and there and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. It's just a little unexpected gift that helps lift someone's mood.
And remember - we are more than half way through....we can do this!