Well here we are in the first week of another New Year. I don’t know about you, but the week started with lots of energy, optimism and achievement, there were blue skies, there was sunshine (although it’s really cold here) everything was bright and breezy. But I often find that this first week in January is a tricky one; you start full of energy and resolve, take down the Christmas things and feel all organised for the New Year, then something happens around the 5th or the 6th. I’ve gradually realised it’s a yearly pattern. The puff seems to go out of you and you deflate a little.
Today I’ve been thinking about what usually makes a difference when a low mood appears. Here’s some ideas if you’re also feeling a bit the same: do a bit of singing, a bit of dancing, play an audio book, listen to classic comedy from BBC radio on the Sounds app (the ones which were before I was born are often so comforting, ok not particularly always funny, but somehow comforting. I can’t explain why) cook a homemade curry, (a dal counts, it’s so easy. I’ve got a throw it all in a pan and stir occasionally recipe, if you want it?) Do a bit of crafting. Immerse yourself in a good book. My current good reads are above. Go outside for a walk. It doesn’t have to be for miles, just walk for five or ten minutes, set a timer at the start, then turn around and walk back again when it dings. Call an older person and have a chat. You might make their day. Make a plan for the weekend, or next week, or the next month. Just have something in the diary to look forward to, it can be anything. Be proactive; write a list of nice stuff you want to do, learn, make or achieve. Choose one and start or apply, order or read up about it. Write a list of the stuff you’re putting off doing, because it’s hard, boring or is something you hate or dread intensely. Do one of these a day, begin to work through the list. At least start one of them, then do a bit every day. Sometimes it’s just not as bad as you anticipate. The thing has grown much bigger in your mind, than it actually is to accomplish. Ask for help or advice. There’s a good glow of satisfaction and a buzzy feeling at the end when you tick one of the horrors off. Eat a little chocolate, drink a mug of tea / coffee / hot chocolate. If it’s really, really urgh have a swig out of the gin bottle. (Don’t do this one too often!)
Google or check Facebook pages to find a a book exchange near you. It can be a Telephone Box library, a Little Free Library, a community Bus Shelter book & toy exchange. Leave a book, take a book. I left a fluffy Christmas novel and brought back a little Book of Desserts. I’ve lined up a new to me Little Free Library to exchange another book soon.
Join Olivia’s Random Acts of Crochet Kindness Facebook group. It’s a really positive online space.
Garlene is hosting another Year of Dishcloths KAL this year. I recommend joining in, because even if you don’t fancy making washcloths you can use the patterns as swatches to practice your knitting skills, learn new stitches and designs. Then you can always turn them into something else; maybe blocks for a blanket? Or adapt them into a cowl, scarf or whatever. I’m knitting one of last year’s, the design from March called Double Dutch. Mine are knitted with rather posh Rowan hand-knit cotton DK and are washcloths, not dishcloths, for two special girls.
I made a cosy nest and started knitting during the Crimbo Limbo week. This has now doubled.
Tip: contact Garlene through Insta or Rav and get yourself put on the email list and then you’ll get the patterns sent straight to your inbox. This is before they’re added to Ravelry.
Really Important: Make sure you save them all, even if at this stage you don’t think you’ll be knitting all twelve. If you change your mind later on, they probably won’t be available for free anymore.
Let me know if you have anything to add to my January cheery list. And tell me what you’re making and reading right now? Have you got a book exchange near you?
Loads of good ideas for cheeriness here and heaven knows I could do with some. I LOVED the Crawdads book. Really beautiful. I have finished the scarf I was making and made a crocheted bag from a kit my Mum got me for Christmas. I NEED some mindless, therapeutic crochet but haven’t got anything on the go and don’t know what to start??!!
How about more Freeform? You really got started on that well and it’s the least stressful, once you’ve got the basics down as you already have – no pattern, or rules or measurements. You can even not darn the ends, like the yarn wrapped trees I showed at Christmas as “it’s all part of the design.”
I love your tips! I might add one: go and buy yourself a flower. It definitely works for me!
Today I went for a little trip: 20 minutes on the bus there, 30 minutes walk in the cold and sunny weather (past a house which my grandfather had built back in 1931 – unfortunately the family had to sell it later) to a view point, 20 minutes on the bus back. It will be a good memory.
Back home, I had a lovely mug of strong black tea and a slice of panettone which our friends from Italy send us every Christmas. Yummy!
The flower tip is a lovely one. And your day sounds absolutely perfect! Glad you are now well again and able to travel about. Good stuff.
Thank you! 🌼
Excellent ideas. I bought myself. A pot of tete a tete daffodils, that always cheers me up, May even go back for the hyacynths. I must admit to wondering about doing one of those top of a post box yarn bombs. Don’t know I have the courage or the skills.
That’s nice – I look forward to the £1 bunches of instant sunshine every year.
I’m waiting for my hyacinths to flower, have a pair in a pot which Mum planted and gave to me. Others in the garden I planted several years ago.
You definitely have the skills. Why not crochet the topper part then you could ask us to contribute something in a theme? I’d be happy to make something.
Ditto what Madame Patch says about mindless, therapeutic crochet – I’m so happy to have my crochet mojo back. And I actually DO listen to you – just joined the crochet kindness group on fb. Looks delightful, thank you for the suggestion.
I’d also love your dahl recipe – it’s something that a certain person always orders when we go to the Indian restaurant round the corner and I have this bizarre idea that maybe one day I’ll actually cook something again….. ;)
You do?! Wow that’s taken me by surprise 😉 It’s an excellent group, full of nice people doing good things to make others smile.
I’ll email it to you soon
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