The tree came down this weekend. It was actually quite a quick process to de-Christmasify the house this year. I didn’t put a lot of Christmas decorations up, some of what I put up I have left as Winter decorations and some of my decorations were edible ones (sweets, nuts and oranges) that disappeared over the season anyway.
So here I am on the first Monday of January and ready to start the year properly.
It’s funny, but 1st January has never been a good day to start the year for me. I think because it’s still within the 12 days of Christmas, still has the promise of fun to come and has never been the day I went back to work: it’s not a run of the mill, workadaisical day anyway. This first Monday, this is the time that reality bites. And, for the last few years, it’s the day that my hibernation has set in. There are no bright lights and big parties to keep me happy in January, no promise of days out, no time off work except for illness and no big, fancy productions on Saturday night TV to keep me laughing. Even Strictly has deserted me and left me with no glitz and glamour to talk about with friends. I haven’t ever really got into Dancing on Ice, the idea of walking on skates, let alone dancing on them on ice, being enough to give me hives.
I wrote about my plans for hibernation last year, about the idea of compiling my own lists of things to do to lighten the darkness. It really helped me, so I’m doing it again this year, looking at these areas of my life and finding ways to boost my spirit through the things I do. I’m focusing on these areas:
- Curating Your Life
- Caring for Yourself
I choose only one or two things to do in each one, simple actions designed to boost my mental and physical wellbeing. Now is not the time to aim to paint the entire house, run a marathon or cook a meal from scratch with new and interesting ingredients every night. I find January and February for me is a time to step back from the rush of life, especially after the consumer fest that is Christmas, to retreat into a quiet, simple life. and to build better routines for myself into the day. It balances me, and sets me up nicely for the more adventurous days of the spring and summer. Good habits established now and carried forward for the year.
For example, in cooking I’m looking to boost winter vegetables in different food, to use spices and to eat a more balanced diet. In my company area, I’m looking to organise coffee with a friend more often and to take my family out for walks regularly. In my life curating, I’m choosing only six books to read in the next two months, a couple of non-fiction, and some good, winter-based fiction. Similarly in TV watching, I’ve a few new-to-me series earmarked to bingewatch in the dark nights. I have a short list in my planner, literally a page to help me keep track.
It’s not about compiling a long to do list, but a short could-do list. Not about setting a target that must be completed, but about adding an extra cushion of comfort to a life. If you’d like to read all last year’s posts, before reading all this year’s, then you can find them all on the hibernate tag on my blog. I’ll be sharing this year’s retreat as well, using #hibernatingforhumans, on Twitter, the Facebook page for this blog or Instagram, and I hope to have a short book with advice on designing your own winter retreat available on Amazon soon. Nobody knows you better than yourself, so how can anybody else tell you what you need to do to make you feel better?
I have a massive favour to ask….
I don’t monetise my blog. I don’t run adverts, take sponsorship for writing posts or use affiliate links. I want everything I do on this blog and in my hygge life outside to be truthful. If I promote a book it’s because I’ve read it and like it, if I point out an item it’s because it’s impressed me on its own merits and not because the publicist has talked me into it. It does mean I don’t run giveaways and I’m not chasing followers, but the drawback is that I need to find a way to support myself.
That’s why I write books. My thoughts are that if I ask you to buy a book not only does it support me, and let me keep writing as an independent writer, but you get something back for your bucks. I’ve written several books, some on hygge, some on Christmas. If you like what you read here, or in the Hygge Nook, and you’d like to support a struggling writer, would you please consider buying a book? Ebooks give you the best value, since for 2 or 3 pounds you get the whole content of the book without paying the extra for paper production, but I’d be a pretty poor writer if I didn’t appreciate the beauty of a real book in the hand. If you buy just one book, it all adds up in the end to support me, and I’d be so grateful.
I’m working on my new book, Enjoying a Self Care Winter: Hibernation for Humans which should be out in the next few weeks, but until then you’ll have to live with my back catalogue.
I have three Christmas books,
Have Yourself a Happy Hygge Christmas was released in September 2017 and is available again in paperback and ebook version. It looks at keeping the Christmas season warm and cosy, with ideas for activities and routines to keep Christmas happy.
A (Hygge) Christmas Carol is my look at Dickens’ immortal classic and the many lessons we still learn from it today. It contains the full text of the book as well as hyggely thoughts on the story.
Enjoying a Self Care Christmas is only available in ebook version. It’s about keeping Christmas simple enough and healthy enough to keep you sane in the process.
My other books are hygge related, 50 Ways to Hygge the British Way was my first book, and is available in Paperback and Kindle version. It’s a simple look at ways to feel more hyggely in life and at home even though we’re not Danish and don’t have it in our DNA.
Happier is my fourth book. It’s about how I boost my own happiness levels. It’s full of hints, tips and ideas for you to use and adapt to suit your own situation. It is available in ebook and paperback version from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
If you buy any of the books through the links on this page, I get a couple of extra pence per copy, in Amazon vouchers which go towards buying more books to review for the blog. I’d really love it if you’d support me monetarily, but I quite understand that cash is tight for many people, and I just love having your support via reading and commenting as well.