Banishing the January blues

Banish the January blue this winter with our 10 top tips.

8 gentle ways to banish the January blues this winter

For many, winter is a time when the gloom can creep in, and the seemingly eternal sunshine of summer feels a world away. This is completely normal. January feels an especially long month, and as the successor to all the joy and celebrations of December, the new year and new month can feel overwhelming.

The mornings are becoming ever so slightly lighter than last month, and the afternoon doesn't seem quite so dark at 4pm, but it is still winter. With that we live, breathe, work and play with just 8 hours of sunlight, and often that sunlight never breaks through the clouds!

Winter could be considered as a season to slow, to quieten, to rest. Much in the same way as the trees, plants and animals do. Wintering allows our minds and body's to be restored. By using this month to gather our thoughts, plans can be made. The year stretches out ahead, giving us plenty of time to tread lightly through the short days, and allowing a pace where there is no need to rush.

But, like the snowdrops that are emerging and ready to bloom, this might also be your moment. Maybe a little busyness is what is needed to sweep right through the season.

There really is no right or wrong way.

Snowdrops in winter. Delicate flowers and a sign that spring is on its way.

So, where do we begin if the January blues have ebbed in? I have eight tips to see you through this month.

But first, always know that is it normal to have good and bad days. Everyone has moments when it all feels too much, times when relationships are struggling, work tests you to your limit or is numbingly mundane, moments when we question the world we live in, or cannot see a way out. If these feelings surround you and the balance tips to the point where the bad days outweigh the good, then please talk to someone and seek help. 

If however, you know in your heart that the January blues are a passing phase of winter, and you'd like a reminder of how to banish them and get on with feeling like you again then please read on!

My top tips to banish the winter blues...

1. Light a candle to lift the gloom

I simply had to begin with this one. Candlelight has a warmth of colour that changes every space. From coffee tables to kitchen worktops, a candle will help you reclaim the light in a way that no lamp or overhead light can. The gentle golden flame from a tapered candle is brings a welcome elegance and a cosy atmosphere. My favourite spot for a candle is the kitchen windowsill in the late afternoon, I enjoy the uplifting sight of candlelight defying the evening gloom as the sun sets and darkness edges in. Transform your January with an added splash of colour from our dip dye tapered candles.

2. Lose yourself in a good book

Be transported any where your heart desires with a book of your choice. My first stop is a second hand bookshop, where an emporium of pre-loved books can be found for just a few pounds. Be inspired by other lives, travel to far flung corners of the world, have wild adventures, discover new ways, unlock secrets, solve mysteries... all from the comfort of your home, lit by candlelight, and with a steaming mug of tea, coffee... or maybe a hot chocolate!

3. Plant indoor bulbs

Did you know, you can re-purpose our Loriest candle glasses as planters for indoor bulbs? Once you have enjoyed your scented candle, you can fill the glass with boiling water and let it cool. As it cools, any remaining wax will rise to the top of the water so it can be lifted out. Any last residue can then be wiped away with a square of kitchen paper. I also like to then give the inside a quick rinse with a little soap and water, and then leave it to dry. If the wick base remains, this is not an issue.

Now, we can place a small amount of bulb compost into the base of the glass, filling to about half way. Then, gently press a single bulb of your choice into the soil. I have chosen to grow Paperwhite Narcissus this month. Top up with more soil and softly press down. Finally, add a little water and place in a warm spot with sunlight. 

Within a few weeks your bulbs should begin to grow and with it, a small reminder that spring is on her way. Soon you will have a collection of gorgeous home-grown flowers to brighten your day.

Upcycle your Loriest candle glass into a spring bulb planter! Fill your home with the scent of flowers this spring.

4. Don't underestimate the power of scent to lift your mood

This year I have also planted the highly fragrant Narcissus 'Bridal Crown' and white Hyacinth bulbs, both of which were my inspiration for our Notes of March scented candle. The scent of these flowers reminds me of spring sunshine and I think, it is utterly uplifting, perfuming any room beautifully. They're a joy to grow, but the scent is often short-lived, so if you also adore the floral eruption of spring then you should definitely consider our Notes of March scented candle, or our Spring scented tealight collection.

January can also be about making a fresh start. When I was researching and developing our Notes of January scent, I knew instinctively that it had to be something cleansing and uplifting. A scent that would clear out the excesses of the previous month, and embrace the new year. For me, cleansing often begins in the kitchen and fresh green garden herbs would bring the uplifting aroma that could inspire many new beginnings.

I believe that Rosemary and Thyme do just that. 

Rosemary helps reduce stress and anxiety by helping to clear the mind and improve focus and clarity. Similarly, Thyme has a tremendous calming effect and always helps to cleanse the air. I balanced the Notes of January scent with a gentle hint of viburnum flower to bring a beautiful complexity that is uplifting in any room. You can find Notes of January here or in our Winter scented tealight collection.

5. Take care of yourself

Soak in the bath, go for a run, bake, read, exfoliate your skin, pop a face mask on, knit... the list is endless, but it's your list. Think about what feels good for you, and then make the time for it to happen. Everyone needs, and deserves, a little moment to do something that makes them feel nice. You can do it too.

Self care in January to beat the winter blues. Beautiful candles made in England.

6. Recognise your limits

You cannot do everything, all of the time. No-one is a failure for letting go of a few things. Life is about balance. Why not use these winter months to explore what you feel comfortable with? What could you let go of? What do you need to hold onto? You might be surprised and find yourself some freedom to take up that hobby you always meant to (see above).

7. Sleep

As someone who has experienced the awful grip of insomnia, I know all too well how frustrating it can be to be told to 'just sleep'. Nevertheless, following the rhythms of the season can help us rest. Soften your lighting as it grows dark outside, and be mindful of the day to night hours so that your body can try to adapt to the darkness during waking hours.

8. Get outside, whatever the weather

Yes, it's grey and the rain comes and goes, or feels like it's never going to end. Yes, it might be blustery and cold, and yes, it might be dull and seem completely uninspiring. But January is also changeable, and there are small joys to be found in being outdoors and seeing first hand how the season is resting, slowly changing, gradually reawakening. 

It also means that on occasion you might experience the absolute joy that is apricity.

Apricity is an old English word for the warmth of the sun on a winter's day. To feel that warmth on your face is just incredible. If you happen to find that moment, then pause. Close your eyes and just enjoy the sensation of the winter sun as it warms not just your skin (and with it gives you a dose of vitamin D), but also your very being. It is one of nature's small joys.

Winter sunshine to make you feel good. The scent of winter for a cosy welcoming home.

The January blues will no doubt effect us all at some point in our lives, just remember it's normal, and I hope that a few of my tips will help you, in some small way.

Go gently through the season, and I am sure you'll find your way.

 Anna x