January Check In

January Check In
January Check In

The picture of Alaska in the depths of winter is entirely click bait. I have green grass right now. But I do have a pretty serious question for everyone today: Are you okay? I ask because it’s January, and let’s be honest guys, no one likes January. Not even those of us with green grass. 


The holidays are over. All the PTO has been used. It’s dark and cold. The 31 days in this month is being rubbed in our faces. Diets and gyms are overflowing. All our money went to Christmas gifts and holiday travels. There are very few enjoyable outdoor activities. It feels wrong to drink champagne because there’s nothing to celebrate, unless it’s your birthday. And if it’s your birthday – I’m actually a bit jealous because at least you have some excitement in your January.


I do try and put my Januarys in perspective now that I live somewhere with mild winters. As mentioned there is green grass, 40+ degrees, and even though it rains basically every day, at least it isn’t snow and ice. I’d apologize to the rest of the country but I served my time in Fairbanks, Alaska. I’ve earned these winters. 


Despite the varying weather everywhere I’ve lived, I still can’t believe how bleh it feels trying to trudge through this month every year.


How am I staying sane, and how can you too?


  • Planning 2018. Taking time to write out every trip, whether work related or personal, and a couple of fun weekend getaways. Just focusing on the prep for all the fun that will be coming soon. Whether it’s booking the excursions/tours for our trip in March or researching where we should spend our 5th anniversary in Arizona, just utilize the slow moments to prepare for the months that will slip by. I use Google Spreadsheets and Google Docs to plan everything, but how stinking cute is this journal?


  • Reading. I’ve been more intentional about shutting off the TV earlier and reading for 30 minutes before bed with The Mr. It’s been really nice to have that calm time to catch up on reading. And I need to catch up, as I currently have a stack of 5 books next to my bed. Does anyone else read more than one book at a time?! I most recently finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and I’d absolutely recommend it.


  • Making plans with friends. Since I work from home now, I’m sure that isolation is contributing to my mental sluggishness this month. Getting out of the house and making plans with friends from my old job has been helping substantially. Even if I rather just lounge around in sweats and watch TV when I’m off work, I know I need to make connections with people I enjoy being around and follow through on those plans. If you’re in or near a metropolitan area, Thrillist is great for happy hour, dinner or brunch ideas with friends.


  • Classes at my gym and running outside. Can we talk about how wonderful it is to LOVE a workout, and not just do it because of aesthetic goals or because your diet recommends it. Doing it because you love the feeling of endorphins and sweating it out and giving it your all. I’ve been so thoughtful about loving the workouts I do in January and making time for them. Of course I’m not always in the mood to workout, but if I intentionally set aside the time, lay out clothes, let my husband know I’m doing it for accountability – I get the workout in and I feel great afterwards. This is my amazing gym if you’re in the South Puget Sound area, otherwise try out a few classes where you live until you find one you enjoy. It’s absolutely worth the investment.


  • Cooking and finding creative ways to substitute meat.  I’ve mentioned before how I typically eat things I don’t have to cook, and when I commuted 2.5 hours a day, that was the damn truth. But now that I have that time back in my day, I love making home cooked, healthy meals for myself and my husband. I’m also incorporating my resolution to eat less meat into my recipes. I’ve been finding alternatives at the grocery store and learning how to creatively use beans and chickpeas and nuts for more vegetarian meals. This blogger has been one of my favorites so far for vegetarian and pescatarian cooking. 


  • The husband and spontaneous dates. This list isn’t in any sort of chronological order, because if it was, he’d be number one 😉 But having a teammate to make you laugh and plan cute dates – like a pottery studio and sushi! – is the perfect cure for the January blues. That person can also be a roommate or a friend or even your mom. Don’t take for granted all the other loves in your life. When he was deployed last year, my person for spontaneous dates was my best friend/roomie. Just find your person and something you’ve never done before.


  • And when all else fails? A generous pour of wine or a large cup of coffee, a freshly popped bag of popcorn, some dark chocolate squares, and your favorite cry it out drama tv series (I opt for Grey’s Anatomy, but pick your poison). When January goes low, you can just get lower in the cushions of your couch with all the necessary survival items and wait it out.


Good luck all. The worst month of the year is almost over.


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