• This Surrey Mummy

Banishing The January Blues...

January is a really dreary month. No one has enough money from the hangover of Christmas. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing dry January (er why bother - why not just say "hey I won't drink Sunday to Friday!"?). It's bloody cold. And grey. And so dark - why does January mornings and early evenings seem so much darker than the rest of the year?

Well, I am here to give you some tips to perk you up and help you survive January - call it my 'January Pick Me Up' if you so will.....

1. Book or plan a holiday or a weekend away

I am all about having things to look forward, something to drag me through those dark winter days when I can simply close my eyes and be transported to somewhere warmer, hotter and sunnier.

January is a typical time when we migrates to sites like ExpediaFirst Choice and our firm favourite Mark Warner in search of holidays for the upcoming summer season. There are some superb deals around with many tour operators offering free kids places making your summer holiday even more affordable - just make sure they are Atol Protected.

If the summer holidays really are just too far for you to even think about then why not book a cheeky weekend away in February or March to lift the spirits.

We have just booked to go to Brighton with friends of ours on a child free weekend. We've opted to stay at the Malmaison, Brighton. For us it's nearby that god forbid should anything happen whilst we are away we can get home quickly, but also Brighton is such a fun place! The beachfront and the shops in the Lanes make a Saturday afternoon go quickly before we don our glad rags for a night out. We've booked on a dinner, b&b rate and at just over £200 it won't break the budget but will give you that little glimmer of excitement to look forward to.

I've also come across Ellenborough Park in Cheltenham which looks amazing so would definitely like to get away here for a weekend - hint hint nudge nudge Mr Webb! 2. Treat yourself to some luxury bath products January is grim and cold and there is nothing I love more than running a hot bath, lighting a smelly candle and sinking into the water to wash away the day.

 I love the bath products from The Sanctuary Spa and given they are usually on 3 for 2 from Boots I always tend to ask for a stash for Christmas to see me through January.

There is one product I would love to try but as yet simply cannot justify parting with £33 for bubble bath - but oh my the smell is so good you could eat it - is the Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Honey Bath - maybe that's a pay day splurge! 3. Have a night out with the girls Nothing brightens my spirits more than a good old night out with the girls. Given most of my lot are doing Dry January we've decided that a trip to the cinema to see a real girly film should do the trick and what better film to see than La La Land the newest film featuring my all time total mum crush, Ryan Gosling! Here's a snippet to the trailer - I cannot wait!!

4. Eat yourself happy January is also that time of year where we embark on ridiculous diets and fitness regimes to only find ourselves three weeks down the line knackered, probably heavier than at the beginning of Jan and miserable. Whilst crash diets certainly seem appealing (woo hoo lose all that Christmas weight in under two weeks  - whatever!) these will do nothing for your long term health.

I am on a mission to lose 20lbs by July and have recently rejoined Slimming World and after my first week back on it so to speak I've lost 2lbs which although it doesn't seem like a lot is a kick in the right direction. Of all the "food plans" this is the one plan that works for me and does not leave me wanting to attack someone out of hanger.

5. The return of the school term Now, don't get me wrong - I love the school holidays (and I will now knowing I am working term time only) but Charlie is definitely a child that thrives on routine. We've had too many late nights, too many day time naps and it is time to get back to school. January signals you've made it. You've made it through the Christmas holidays in tact! Now, once you've shipped the kids off to school, go home and pour yourself a celebratory cuppa because before you know it, it'll be 3pm and you'll have to leave to get them!

How do you banish the January blues?

Nathalie x