Here’s an uplifting post (because we all need something frivolous with what’s going on in the world right now) on what I’m loving this January from superfood snacks to beauty hacks, faux flowers and fitness apps.
Argh, Jan’s a bit of a miserable bitch isn’t she just but I’ve found a few ways to help me love her despite the perpetual grey skies and petulant rainy days we’ve been faced with.
You’ll find my January light-givers (some literal) below:
A Lumie light
First up, much love and respect must be paid to the ingenious Lumie light for Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD I seem to suffer from. Lumie has been researching, designing and developing light therapy tools for over 25 years so know their stuff and this one not only treats the winter blues but improves sleep, sports performance, jet lag and skin conditions, too. I bathe in its rays for at least an hour a day all winter long and currently feel like I’m livin la vida loca in LA rather than windy Windsor, well, for that hour at least. Lush.
A raspberry and blueberry lover for a long time now, I’ve strangely only started buying frozen berries regularly this winter. Perfect in smoothies and buried into (healthy-ish) muffins, or my favourite, eaten like sweets straight out of the bag still icy cold, they’re an obsession I’ve no need to feel any guilt over. Unlike watching Made in Chelsea on Catch-Up until 3 am when I should be sleeping!
Seriously though, antioxidant-heavy and full of vits and minerals without any hit on them being frozen (the opposite actually as they’re freezed immediately locking goodness in) and cheaper than fresh berries to boot, get them in your shopping basket, pronto. You can rustle up this healthy coconut and apple crumble with them too of course.
Ditto with these guys, the good ol’ underrated raisin. I was reintroduced to them last year when the kids saw others scoffing them at lunch time and requested I pop them in their packed lunch boxes too. They’re currently providing me with same pleasure as freshly popped corn garnished with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Try them all, preferably together.
My flat is filled with them. Pretty, long-lasting and allergen-free, you can find every variety of flora in artificial ranges from bouquets of pansies, zinnias, roses, Hydrangea to sweet peas, tulips and more. I only wish I’d discovered them sooner. They make the perfect gift to loved ones, save you money, time and water! I do buy myself the odd fresh bouquet here and there and all serve to make a house a home as mum would say.
Adore this nostalgic goo and slather it on my brows, lashes and lips every single day. A moisturiser, hair-growth hack (works for me) and scar soother (for my throat and tummy post-op scars), I really do rely on tins of this stuff so why not try it too?
Fitbit Versa 2
Not a fan of the competitive step count challenges that come with Fitbits, once my former FitBit died on me (out of guarantee), I was adamant I wouldn’t succumb to another. Curiosity got the better of me though when a new 7 mile round-trip school run arose with Oliver’s school move and the Fitbit Versa 2 arrived in late November as an early Christmas present. And I’m glad it did.
The Versa 2 is thicker, bigger and smarter than its slimmer sister and provides me with useful insights and accountable motivation to move myself. I’ve synced my cycles on the app, log water intake (must drink more), check my heart rate (FYI not for the hypochondriacs amongst us), tots up sleep and step count. I hit 25k steps on average a day with highs of 30 so cancelled the gym membership and pounds the streets. It’s my kind of therapy.
On the subject of empowering power walks, I’ve found my daily 2 hours of power walks in the blustery cold completely transformative. I feel less anxious and inclined to catastrophize when I walk daily; I’ve naturally lost weight and suffer less pain and fewer mood swings premenstrually so happy days (literally).
Most of all, I find the uninterrupted time striding to and from school with my boys by my side to be the best bonding exercise there is. It is then, as we side-step puddles, scoff oat biscuits and re-wrap scarves to fight the wind that we put the world to rights, practise spellings one last time or Google science-related trivia. I initiate talk that seems to flow naturally as we walk on more tricky topics of boundaries and friendships, and together we candidly share and problem solve. Oh, and we laugh too, wide grinned happy laughter that creases up our faces and makes us feel at ease and loved, catalysed of course by moving limbs and endorphins running wild and free.
See, January isn’t so bad after all.
What are your January blues busters?