Welcome to Week 2 of #ProjectHappyJanuary! This is the second part of our month long series of blogs to start your new year feeling good and feeling positive through some little daily mood boosting tips for every day of January.
It’s delighted to me see so many people following along with the first blog I posted last week of fun things to do and try – so if you’re ready, here comes your next seven days of feel good, mood boosting fun…
DAY 8 – watch Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain” on YouTube
Even if it’s not raining where you are today, I want you to watch this video before you do anything else this first working Monday of 2018 A) because Gene Kelly is one of my absolute heroes. Ditto “Singin’ in the Rain” being one of my absolute favourite films of all time.
And B) Because we can all stand to be a bit more Gene Kelly. The weather won’t always be so great, but it’s about learning to dance in the rain when it does. And like an utterly joyous loon at that.
DAY 9 – Meditate
Especially in a world we are ever connected to everyone and everything – and most of our worries – all the time via our phones, it can seem hard to get any distance from it all, any time to ourselves. The answer? Meditation.
Now, I know the idea sounds hippyish – it did to me when someone first suggested it after I went through a rough patch mentally last year. But even just 10 minutes by yourself, in a calm, undisturbed environment and you’d be surprised how much more relaxed, mindful and centred you feel. It’s now become part of my daily routine.
There are great apps out there like Headspace you can try. One of my personal favourites though, are a YouTube channel called The Honest Guys. They offer audio/visual meditations for all time scales, all emotions and for all times of the days.
I particularly love doing their 10 minute mindfulness meditation every day when I wake up. It takes some getting used to but try it today – maybe even over the next two days – and see what you think. Let me know in the comments below what you thought!
DAY 10 – wear something colourful
While the weather’s still grey and cold, and things look a bit drab, today is about bringing some vibrant, bold and cheering colours into what we wear.
I myself am heading into London today for meetings, and I am wearing my favourite bright purple tie with my shirt – but maybe you could wear a nice bright jumper or hairband, or even a scarf – whatever takes your fancy. It would thrill me to know there is a railway platform somewhere on the commuter stretch ablaze with colour today!
DAY 11 – read a favourite book from childhood
I believe one of the key aspects to a positive, upbeat outlook is feeling young at heart. And there’s no better way to reconnect with your younger self then with a favourite book from when you were a kid.
It’s usually around this time of year that my well thumbed/worn copies of ‘The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark’ by Jill Tomlinson and ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl are taken off my book shelf for their annual January bed time read. And when I do, I can’t help but feel about 7 again.
See if you can get your favourite kid’s book second hand in a charity shop or on your Kindle today and reconnect with your inner 7 year old.
DAY 12 – share a picture of yourself that makes you smile
Pictures are one of the best ways of bringing an instant mood lifter to our day to day lives. They can conjure up images, remembering happy times and places and experiences that we remember fondly.
For today’s idea, find a picture of yourself that makes you smile, and share it on your social media or on your blog. My picture I’m sharing today is me, on holiday in Cork two years ago, in a little pub called The Thomond, off Oliver Plunkett Street, where I watched a World Cup match with my friends whilst eating the greatest roast chicken and Colcannon I have ever tasted.
DAY 13 – call or meet up with a friend for a catch up
Whoever said that special occasions like holidays were the only time to meet up or speak to close friends was wrong. Even if it’s just for half an hour, call a good friend today for a chat and a catch up.
Or better still, meet up for a coffee or some lunch. Regular human contact, and a chat and a joke with those we love at a time when most of the world still wants to hibernate is a powerful mood booster.
DAY 14 – dance
This sort of ties in to what we said about music being a real ‘pick me up’ last week. Even if you’re not Darcey Bussell or Diversity, dancing is one of the most joyful, freeing expressions of positivity – and it’s fun exercise without seeming like it.
We especially love Strictly Come Dancing pro-dancer Neil Jones’ YouTube channel, and some of his dance tutorial videos he does under his comedic alter ego Nell de Jaunse. We’ve put together a playlist of them for you above – have a go at them today and see how you get on!
We’ll see you back here next week for our third installment of ways to make your January a happy one – hope you have fun with this week’s activities!