It’s cold, it’s grey, you’re incredibly poor, and you’re unsure if you’re really ill or just need to accept this new lower standard of health... January isn’t exactly known for being a cheery month. Getting stuck into semester two after indulging in plenty of Baileys and festive antics can be tricky, but we’ve pulled together a few key ways to cheer yourself up, and kick-off 2018 in the best way possible.
Unfortunately, the science-y types have long proven that super healthy food will in fact make you feel better in the long-run, but January is not a time to exist solely on salad. Why not take a healthy packed lunch to the library, and then have something for dinner that’s more “hearty” than “healthy” - like a shepherd’s pie or macaroni cheese. Even if you’re not a top chef, learning a few new dishes is a great New Year's resolution, and having friends over for a home-cooked meal makes for a cheap and cosy night in that doesn’t (necessarily) result in a hangover.
January is the perfect time to become the cultured individual you’ve always wanted to be - try something new, or learn a craft. Most universities have a whole host of societies to help you make new friends and learn new skills, so why not give wine and cheese tasting, bowling, or baking a go? Or if that sounds like too much, register with your local library and make a list of books to read this year, or see a film at your local cinema - most do a student night with a hefty discount!
There is literally nothing more therapeutic than making a schedule for the coming months. While you might be super busy, find some time to set goals and put events in your calendar (or shiny new diary), it’s a good way of taking a break while remaining productive enough that you won’t feel guilty. There are some beautiful and intricate ideas out there to make your organisation pretty (like this one from Without Elephants), but if you don't feel quite up to bullet journaling, just a pocket diary or calendar on the wall can help you feel more in control. Organising is also a great way to make sure you plan social events alongside all your work - we all need something to look forward to, especially in January!
Sort Your Space
Whether you’re in a student house, a tiny room in halls, or living at home, chances are your space could be improved. This doesn’t have to be an expensive or difficult process, just little changes like a string of Primark fairy lights, a new house plant or better storage (well hello, IKEA), can make your space feel more pleasant to be in - even if you don’t work in your room, everyone needs a calm and cosy place to come home to.
Try and Give Back
Volunteering is a fantastic way to get out of the house, socialise, and begin your new year by helping others. Many universities have volunteering programmes you can get involved with, or you could have a browse online for causes near you- there’s a huge variety of roles out there to fit every schedule and personality, so have a look for the right fit for you and donate some of your spare time to a cause you care about.