My Guide to Surviving January in London (or anywhere)

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It’s cold and dark outside.

I’ve just recovered from the flu.

I’m endlessly searching warm places to holiday.

It must be January! Do you feel it?

I’ve never been particularly good at January, but especially since moving to London where it’s dark and the weather is often grey/rainy, I’m not the easiest person to be around this month. I tend to turn inwards, stay inside, and generally dream of being somewhere else.

We moved here from Washington DC in September 5 years ago, and that January was the hardest on record. I was lonely, getting used to being a stay at home mom for the first time, and to top things off I had two miscarriages in a row right before Christmas. It was a rough entry, and I just don’t regard January as a good month since that year.

BUT. I am trying to turn that around this year. There are a few things I’ve found that help me get out of my January funk, so I wanted to share.

  1. Go for a morning walk. As tempting as it is to crawl back into bed after the school run, instead I make plans for a walk through one of my favorite neighborhoods. I try to do one walk a week in winter (Hampstead is up next) because though it can be cold, I feel alive and that winter light is stunning.
  2. Schedule a breakfast or lunch with friends. Food is always going to get me out of the door. Somewhere light and airy is always good, with a good coziness factor, too, because hey it’s January.
  3.  Make travel plans for the year. This year we have our sights set on visiting the US with the kids, which will cut into a big portion of our travel budget, but it’s been too long since seeing family and reconnecting with our roots (aka visiting Target and going to an American movie theatre for buttered popcorn). I’m also looking at Morocco and Egypt, as my 7 year old has been asking to see the pyramids and camels for the past 2 years. We’re also planning on doing a bit of UK travel, too, as I’m planning on finally being able to drive again once I pass my driving test.
  4. Hang up new art on the walls. There’s something about a house refresh that gives me all the good energy. I love to find digital prints on etsy and print off through a local printer for an inexpensive change to my gallery wall.
  5. Buy new plants. We’re lucky in the UK to have a few good plant delivery services, and Patch Plants is one of them. I’ve just ordered a chinese money plant which are so peppy and happy, just the kind of plant I need for our coffee table.

This list isn’t exhaustive, just a few things I’ve done recently that have helped me shake off my January doldrums. I’d love to hear what you do to make the most of these winter months!

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