16 January 2016

Nikki's Winter Survival Kit

Winter is a fabulous, magical season. The promise of snow, the twinkling lights, the cosy evenings... until Christmas is over. And then we're stuck in a seemingly endless dark, freezing stretch of 'bleh'.

I wanted to write a January Survival Kit - but we're halfway through the month now! And February is really quite as dreary. So, this is what you'll need to transform a grey, dull couple of months into something passably bearable...



  • An oversized cosy blanket. Believe me, everything is better when you're cocooned in fluffy gloriousness. 
  • A box set to get yourself through those dark Winter evenings. Has anybody else been binge-watching Making A Murderer? Bit dark? Pick the funniest, happiest series you can and watch it all! 
  • A hot water bottle. Beds should not be chilly fortresses of ice, they should be cosy clouds of heavenly goodness. Another tip is buying brushed cotton sheets - so warm and snuggly! 
  • A heart-warming novel. I recently finished A Christmas Carol and I am overjoyed, because a) I can subtly mention the work of Dickens as if I’m cultured and well-read, b) it was genuinely a cracking read (no, I don’t think my review will make the front cover), and c) it made me want to be a better person - honestly. And once you’re roaming the High Street buying the homeless cups of coffee (this book will do that for you), you don’t really care about the grey sky or gloomy weather. 
  • An arsenal of bath bombs, lotions and creams. Pamper January. It’s a thing, I’ve said it now. Just focus on looking after yourself for the next few weeks. 
  • Fluffy socks. Seriously, just head to Primark and buy like, five pairs. Wear them always. 
  • A match, to burn your New Year's resolutions. No one needs to start their year seeing themselves as a fatally flawed human being in need of fixing. I think it’s a scientific fact that 45.78% of January’s depressingness is caused by setting yourself unrealistic goals of going to the gym 4 times a week and never eating carbs again. Eat a bit of green stuff, do some light exercise like pilates or intense shopping (I’m working on getting this recognised as an official Olympic sport), get good sleep and take your vitamins. Be nice to yourself this month - it's tricky enough without torturing yourself. On the other hand, if your goals for 2016 are ‘read more’, ‘give up my toxic meth addiction’, ’learn a new language’, or ‘consume only salad leaves in preparation for lifesaving operation’, please go for it, immediately. 
  • Multi-vitamins to make sure you don’t get ill and to keep you all perky. A balanced diet would also do this - and on balance, I'd probably recommend you try that instead. 
  • Fun exercise,  give it a go at least once a week. Just do a bit of stretching and posing with pilates. Stick on the Spice Girls and have a dancing session. It doesn’t feel like real exercise but it’s still good for you. You can always up your game to a bit of jogging in February. But take it slow and don’t exert too much pressure on yourself. 
  • An upbeat playlist. Next time you’re braving the outdoors, just pop this baby on and it’ll lift your spirits. I made one already (go on, you can steal it) and I can already envisage myself merrily skipping past puddles on my way to work.
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