January is always the worst. The festivities are over, everything has returned to its bland, undecorated state and the seemingly limitless supply of Quality Street has been replaced with talk of detox and super grains. Having once again observed this reliably dramatic switch which descends upon us annually on January 1st, perhaps this is the year to call it into question.
To simply follow the word ‘Christmas’ with ‘grain’ is to sum up the juxtaposition between the two periods; a metaphor, if you like, which relates to far more than food. It is a mere symbol of the wider picture. Of course, there are many people who do enjoy grains and believe that they are indeed super, but humour me for a sec.
For those of us lucky enough to associate the holiday season with family, friends, food, games and general merriment, waving goodbye to essentially two months of the stuff is cue enough for January to send their blues into town. Going back to work, packing away the decorations and losing the Christmas film channel are all done with a long sigh and a melancholic heart. It is a wonder to me, then, why folk continue to rub salt in the wound by forcing themselves into juice diets, sugar bans and ‘dry’ Januarys. The month has surely become so famously gloomy because of these pressures we pile on ourselves, as much as it is a mourning period for the Christmas season. I’m not saying that consuming enough Terry’s chocolate oranges to solely keep the factory running for another year is acceptable long term behaviour (I can quit when I want), or pledging to do a bit more exercise isn’t a good thing, but self-deprivation doesn’t have to be the answer. Surely January would be that bit more manageable without radically eliminating from our lives the things which make December so happy, or forcing ourselves into an unwelcome and unsustainable life-style. Sometimes a segment of chocolatey orange goodness can go a long way after a full-on day back in the office. (I told you, I can quit when I want.)
Love your body and look after your mind. They got you through 2016, and that year threw some shit our way. The Christmas magic doesn’t have to stay confined to December; visit family, see friends and play games all the year round. You could even bring a tin of Quality Street. I’m going to wrap this up now as I’m starting to sound like Tiny Tim again.
It’s only the fifth; I can still say it – Merry Christmas! Here’s to 2017 x