Seasonal hangovers, and why January can do one

I’m sitting down eating a lemon curd sandwich, it’s not my lunch or my tea oh no. I am having it with a hot chocolate just because of the January woes ‘ (to be sang to the tune of Lena Marlins 1999 hit any which way you can make it fit)

The beginning of the year never fills me with joy. It’s often cold and dark and it feels like we are still waiting for the end of the year to be properly over so we can begin again. We are at the 8th course of a meal when everyone was full at the 5th course because they are too much bread at the start unaware of what was ahead-everyone feels just a bit queasy now!

Its a limbo period where not a lot happens and it feels like it is all happening elsewhere (may be it is in the southern hemisphere?)

Also is it just me or is there no post in January. I love post, I always think something exciting is on its way (I’m not sure why) But January seems to be the month of nothing through the post box. Obviously it cannot compete with December, Christmas cards, the odd newsletter and catalogue (and the less wonderful election bamf and waste and recycling agenda for the holiday period).

But nothing…seriously. No post but what has come to stay are rubbish guests that come with over tiredness, please let me introduce you to January’s most unwanted visitors:

• skin that is so light and yet bumpy, it could be mistaken for a road safety measure with its ability to reflect glare and it’s uneven surface. Yes I appreciate the diet of lemon curd sandwiches and coffee might have been mistaken for a welcome party to dull and lifeless skin…need to work on my communication skills.

•bloomin mouth ulcers. I keep biting my lips and cheek…why who knows?! But it isn’t bringing me any joy, and just looks as though I’ve invested in some dodgy lip work. Who has the time/money/can be arsed with that when I only just manage to brush my teeth (most of the time)

• It’s always dark, or a dark shade of grey. I mean I know that the sun does shine but it seems fleeting! I try and jolly the troops into an afternoon walk and suddenly it’s after 3 and the sun is going to bed…why? We can’t! Well not if you have kids that need exercising.

• Which brings me to the issue of wanting to be healthier and make the world a bit brighter with flowers and nice food and clothes. But we are broke-aren’t we all?! Despite buying the kids next to nothing and ourselves nothing-December has still somehow emptied our bank accounts. And all that bright and beautiful stuff well it costs money because there is no sun, it means lots of things aren’t growing yet (which you know is a good thing because I was told daffodils are only out this early because of climate change and that has put a downer of them, well that and their smell, for something so pretty they smell so ugly …is that why they are so cheap?)

•And finally, and this is probably the underlining issue regarding January for me, that is my anxiety seems to be full speed ahead. it’s like I work myself up for Christmas, because I love it so and well my anxiety seems to work itself up for January. I start panicking about every eventuality and find myself lost in a vortex of fear and loathing, yuck yuck yuck. I have to verbally remind myself that I am not the most horrific person but simply a person with flaws and some things I need to work out, like my addiction to condiments. I jest but seriously anxiety sucks the life out of this month.

And yes lots of people feel the same, but that doesn’t alleviate the whirring of your brain for you when you’re on the thick of it. Then I read this brilliant article in Lion Heart magazine, where Anya Hayes is interviewed. I have followed Anya for a while now on Instagram (mothers.wellness.toolkit) and love her ability to demystify the emotional fog that motherhood can bring and also offer some really practical help. In the article she talks about how easily it is to work from a place of a depleted energy, living off caffeine, sugar and adrenalin to get you through ‘tired but wired’ .

As I read this I realised that I regularly find myself in that state and not just since being a mother. November and December have always been a season of high energy, little rhythm of meals or exercise just living from event to activity to job surviving on wine, party food and satsumas! ( I always felt like the strong presence of citrus fruits in this season allowed me to be reckless about everything else)

Also this season is marked by people, I’m an extrovert so I love this-but it also leads to absolutely no solitude, no time of being by myself and so no balanced self reflection.

Then I find myself in the hangover months of January and February, often sickness and lack of funds forcing me into isolation, and I don’t often like what I see in myself. I notice all the things that I struggle with and find all the social anxiety and analysis from 2 months has built up and just dumper trucks on my mind!

Then March through to October generally life finds a healthier rhythm. When I settle down and take time to find balance. It’s not perfect, when is it ever (except maybe in my dreams of being on Oprah and then the wonder woman that is hidden inside me will somehow get out…I’m really sleep deprived right now!)

Realising the lack of balance in the cycle of my year may not change a lot. It’s still dark and cold afterall. But remembering that things have a cause and consequence, so that maybe next November and December could include a bit more space and rhythm…and please God more sleep! But also right now I can seek to find balance and when I’m spiralling with anxiety, remind myself that this is in part the result of a hectic lifestyle of previous months.

Also January is nearly over and at least February has Galentines Day!

But before sign off , one last moan where is our January period drama. We need one on these cold winter evenings- I’m sorry Dracula does not cut it for me.