At this time of year we are all recovering from overindulging in one way or another. The wake up calls come fast and furious; the credit card bills start coming in, we question our bank balances and we worry that the dryer is mysteriously shrinking our clothes. We decide to stay home more, saving money, and promising ourselves we will get back on track during the coming months. The happiness of giving (getting?) gifts, and celebrating with people we love, is quickly forgotten as January stretches before us; a long month that often feels hungover and bloated.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Truly. So what if we ate too much, and bought far too many decorative candles (just in case 🙂 It’s done; remember the fun that we had, make a budget, eat a bit less and start planning your dreams.
While you’re at it, why don’t you take some steps to guide you through the post-holiday blues? Taking down the Holiday decorations will automatically make your house look cleaner and less cluttered. Whiz around with the vacuum cleaner and you’re half-way there. Next, honestly, I would buy some flowering bulbs (if you are still like me, trapped in the Winter months) to cheer you up and bring some life and color inside. If you are living in the Southern Hemisphere, throw out the tree, tidy up the tinsel and pick a gorgeous bunch of something to put on the table.
Chances are, wherever you live, the daylight is different at this time of year, consider moving the furniture so that it catches the afternoon sun. Experiment with angles, or swap an unexpected piece from one room to another. Clean off a chair or bench from the garden and bring it inside for extra seating. Have fun, deliberately try what you absolutely know won’t work, and try to see your home from a different perspective. Give it a day or two, and if you don’t like it, just move it back. All you’ve lost is a few hours.
Do you have a favorite poem, photograph or painting that you can frame and hang somewhere? The slightest decorative change in your home will make you feel happier! Even a favorite vacation spot to motivate you. It is so easy to download and print a copy of something that you love. If it is an old poem, consider printing it then soaking it in tea or coffee to age it. Any photograph, reprinted in black and white will look more “artistic”, but, more importantly, it will fit seamlessly with absolutely any style of decorating. Many museum stores sell postcards of famous paintings for no more than a few dollars; placed, matted, in a frame, they will take on an importance that belies their actual cost. Even an old letter or drawing can be displayed with a simple, black (plastic or wood) frame. Buy several from a discount store, or take out something from a frame you already have. Hang your new piece of art in a favorite spot that you will see every day!
Another thing to do is to play music around the house. Go through your CD collection, or plug your I-Pod into speakers. Dance around. Listen to songs from ages ago. Reminisce. I know it sounds daft, but sometimes we have to get back to basics and put a bit of effort into cheering ourselves up. Bake something from scratch just for you, not because it is a special occasion for someone else. Enjoy the time it takes to measure out the ingredients. Eat it warm! Play a children’s game on the computer (Spongebob Squarepants?) read a book for hours (without feeling guilty) or get some paints and pretend you are an artist for the day.
Whatever you do, don’t let January be a blue month, because it’s always better than you think!
For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/