It's January 2019 and it's okay to not be a completely different person

The pressure to conform to the ‘New Year, new you’ mentality is reaching fever pitch. Why is it that when we are at our lowest, we’re asking so much more of ourselves?

Have you a case of the January blues? Of course you do. Chances are, you are dehydrated and feeling bloated after a month of (delicious, wonderful, irresistible) indulgence. Dreary mornings, grimly dark evenings and workdays that drag are bound to leave us all feeling drained. So why is it that this is the month we are all supposed to unanimously decide to be fitter, healthier, more productive and pretty much perfect human beings? People choose to embrace routine in January, rejoining the gym in their hordes and challenging themselves to be ‘back on track’ this month, but what if you just do not want to?

Contrary to what the universe seems to be compelling you to do this January, you actually don’t have to be kicking off 2019 with a lean, mean, green new routine.

Next time you feel someone’s judgeful gaze land on your not-so-healthy lunch, or you drive passed your gym without stopping, remind yourself of the following:

IT’S JANUARY 2019 AND IT’S OKAY TO…

... Not want to lose weight.

New Year, same you, is a lovely idea. Why do we feel the need to transform our bodies just because it’s January? We make jokes about ‘wintering well’ but really, who gives a toss if we’re slightly rounder in January than we were in November? Chances are that ‘weight gain’ is imperceptible to everyone around us, and will likely fall off naturally as we become more active once spring arrives. For now, let’s happily hibernate.

... Not get meditation.

Committing to daily deep breathing while a soothing voice commands you to be present isn’t for everyone. And just because your pal is heading for a 365-day streak on the Headspace app, it doesn’t mean you have to. Also, why are we paying a tenner a month to be told how to breathe deeply? Is it really worth the same price as a Spotify subscription? That’s something to meditate on for a few minutes.

... Not eat salad for lunch

Most days a salad for lunch is perfectly fine. Some days, only pizza will do. Treat yourself, enjoy the comfort of a cheesy lunch, and get back to your afternoon feeling that bit happier than a salad could ever make you.

... Avoid crammed gym classes.

Sure, you usually feel better after going to your Wednesday spinning class or that really challenging Body Pump class. But if the January crowds are making you dread your usual routine, don’t feel bad about opting for the treadmill or going for a walk instead. The gym should be a nice distraction, and definitely isn’t a place you want to feel your personal space is being compromised. Stay away, sweaty gym newbies!

... Have a messy desk.

Messy workspaces are a sign of creativity! Leave the spring clean for later in the year when there’s an actual spring in your step. A desk covered with bits and bobs, interesting magazines you haven’t had the chance to read, and your favourite knicknacks, can feel like a cocoon to hide away inside for January, as you plough through your work and wait for February to roll around. Minimalism can wait for warmer times.

... Keep working your way through the leftover chocolate/cheese/wine/treats in your house.

At least you didn't binge on the lot by New Year's Eve, eh? For some reason once January sets in we feel guilty for still rummaging through that box of celebrations, or we feel like we should tuck away that cheese board until next winter. When your body craves summery foods like salads and smoothies, do it, but until then, we're sticking with our winter favourites.

... Say no to Dry January

No one feels like late nights out in January but why give up the booze for one arbitrary month? There are other times throughout the year where you may not feel like drinking at all, when the sun shines and you're out and about more, so don't feel forced to forego that delicious glass of wine when you finish work on Friday.

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