Doesn’t life seem a little bit less fun in January? Christmas is over, the festive decorations have all been packed away. The days are short and grey, the nights long and cold. The landscape seems…indifferent, whether it be covered in a blanket of white or displaying the muted browns and greys we associate with this time of year. And January will soon give way to February, which is almost a repeat performance of the preceding days. It’s what I call the January Doldrums — that period when the invigorating winds of gardening season are deadly calm and our sails are empty.
There are a few things I’ve done in the past — some planned, and some completely spontaneous — that have helped me through these somewhat dreary days.
(1) You can certainly brighten the day by bringing the garden indoors. Even supermarkets carry inexpensive plants such as these lovely pink hyacinths Charlie brought home last winter. There were four bulbs in this one pot and these fragrant flowers, in various stages, added a little splash of spring to the apartment for a good two weeks. And I believe this was a $5.99 purchase. If you remember, he recently brought home a single, white hyacinth which he found on display for a mere $2.00. I’ve also purchased tulips and daffodils in the same way with great results. Cyclamen and Amaryllis are two more favorites that seem to be popular right now.
(2) Be good to yourself. Take advantage of these long nights and squeeze in an extra hour of sleep. Eat well — Charlie and I have been eating more hearty soups and salads and trying to snack on nuts and fruit, as the budget allows. It’s made a huge difference in the way I feel, along with those few extra zzzzz’s. Position a comfy chair in a bright, sunny window on nicer days and bask in the warmth, if only for a few moments. It can really lift your spirit. Treat yourself to a new hair style. (I’m happy to report, speaking of being good to yourself, that Charlie and I are both still smoke free! I think we’ve finally done it.)
(3) Stay in touch with friends. Chances are that your friends are feeling blah if you are — write someone a long letter…by hand! Or pick up a ‘thinking-of-you’ card and put it in the mail. Call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. It’ll brighten both your days.
These are a few of the things I’ve tried to do to make January just a little bit shorter. How about you? I’d love to hear any tips you have for chasing away those mid-winter blahs!