Beat the January Blues: 4 Tips for a Calmer & More Meaningful Month

The month of January was named after Janus the Roman god. Janus is often depicted as having two faces. One face looks backwards and the other looks forward. This makes it a perfect month for new beginnings.

Hove Beach
January is the second month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. With it comes shorter days and freezing temperatures and the dreaded post-holiday blues.

A change of mindset can help to see January as a time in which to reflect on the past and to start anew. It is a month where we can stave off the post-holiday blues and create a new way of living.

Jin Designs has produced four fabulous January ideas to help you make changes to establish a calm and minimalist aesthetic for the year ahead and to help you create your own haven of peace and joy.

1. Declutter for Delight

It is well documented how decluttering can have a positive effect on both our mental and physical health. Living in a less cluttered environment can increase our concentration. It can even reduce stress and anxiety. Decluttering can even benefit those with asthma and prone to allergy risks.

As much as we may want to declutter our homes, it can be a daunting prospect for some. The very idea is just too overwhelming. This is why it is best to make a list before you begin. Most of us have far too many items we do not use or even notice.

By opting for a more minimalistic ideal, which will help us to relax and concentrate more on the things we love, we suggest a few new simpler approaches to the process:

Decide what and why you want to declutter.

Plan what day this will take place.

How long can you give to the decluttering? It is better to declutter within a realistic period rather than try to do it all at once.

Have three distinct piles in which to place items: Keep. Donate/Sell/Give away. Discard.

Use the Marie Kondo method of organising known as the KonMari method and decide if the item still ‘sparks joy’ for you. From there you will know which pile it belongs in.

Decluttering is a perfect way to give items to charity and good causes or to friends and family who may benefit from them.

Start to declutter spaces rather than whole areas, such as, drawers, shelves, bookcases, and cupboards. 

2. Cosy Corners for Calm

Most people will agree that life has become busier. We live our lives at one hundred miles per hour and make impossible demands upon ourselves. Make this new year one that can seize opportunities to slow down and find a balance and harmony in our busy lives.

Having decluttered the spaces in your home your haven can become more of a reality. You can now begin to create a cosy hygge corner. This will add to the ambience and beauty of your home. Imagine a go to area where you can relax and snuggle up during these short days and harsh weather!

Hygge is the Danish word for the concept of warmth and cosiness. Hygge is also about the beauty of nature. Try to incorporate inspiring walks with your friends or dogs to enjoy any winter light during this month.

Winter months can leave us feeling lethargic, so self-care is an important and positive way to ensure we remain healthy and well. Remember, this is a new year and the perfect month for putting yourself first. What better way than to have a favourite chair in a cosy corner where you can be surrounded by the items that spark joy?

In the evenings you can light scented candles, wrap yourself in a beautiful blanket such as Jin Designs Star Blanket for extra comfort in the colder months. You can read a book, listen to a podcast, and have a special mug of your favourite warming drink.

Hedgehog Mug in hand

Hygge corners represent giving yourself a break and escapism. They are also about family and friends so you can create a cosy corner for entertaining too. Claim the cosy corner and enjoy the warmth and calm!

3. Pets. Positive Paws for the Soul

2 Border Terriers

For those of us who have pets we know that they complete our lives. There are incredible health positives to having a pet. If we have a dog, they encourage us to go outside and exercise. We meet other people on our walks which has been proven to prevent loneliness, stress, and boost confidence. From a medical perspective, regular walking and interaction can decrease our cholesterol, blood pressure and can manage depression.

Our furry friends give us unconditional love and make wonderful companions. Just by stroking or brushing our pets we lower our levels or cortisol, the stress hormone.

Why not create a special corner for your pets? January is a perfect month to sort through their toys, blankets, bedding and bowls. You can replace any old ones with new ones.

Hope and Bo in CatLoaf Beds

 Your cat will appreciate a touch of luxury with a CatLoaf Cat Scratcher Bed. It will give them a comfortable place to relax as they keep their claws healthy.

Creating a home that is less cluttered and designed for relaxation and cosiness for you and your pets, you will find even more time to give your pets attention. Imagine, more cuddles, less stress and anxiety. What a great start to the new year!

4. Finding Joy in Little Things

View from Jack and Jill Windmill

January is a time when post-holiday blues affect many of us. We can feel sad, lonely, tired, and dread the winter months. It is not usually long lasting, and most people get back into their usual routine quite soon. Finding joy in little things can help combat some of the symptoms of post-holiday blues.

Take each moment and day as it comes. Do not worry about things in the past but rather set new goals. Do not think too far into the future because you will also miss what is happening today. Give yourself time to take care of yourself.

Take walks and exercise. This will help with stress and depression. Being in nature increases our well-being so head for green spaces if you can.

Be in the present. Look for signs in nature. There will be the stirrings of buds and movement in hedgerows, and the return of certain birds. On regular walks familiarise yourself with the environment and take time to breathe.

Try to plan your days with family and friends or local groups. Being with the others we chose can be good for our mental health.

Gratitude will also help with post-holiday blues. Gratitude, which is a feeling of appreciation, reduces negativity. It has so many other positive benefits. Studies have shown that positive thoughts increase our empathy and strengthen relationships. It can lower your blood pressure and lead to decreased headaches.

Look for positive things that give you joy. It could be watching a robin in your garden, taking a long hot bath after work, or drinking a cup of tea from your favourite Jin Designs Mug.

Robin in tree

January is a time for reflection and renewal. It is a month where we can practise self-care by putting ourselves first for once. It is a month for taking time out from our busy lives and planning for the days to come. By creating a harmonious, elegant and clutter free haven we will see the benefits to our health.

January is a month of positive thoughts, gratitude and looking for the simple things in life that give us joy. We can appreciate our pets, good food and healthy walks, alone or with friends. Our hygge way of life will continue to wrap us in warmth and cosiness as we take time in the moment to give gratitude for all we love.

We hope you have found our four tips to the start of a new year useful. If you are keen to embrace simplicity and a more minimalist lifestyle or just a cosy corner, look at some of the simple Collections here at Jin Designs for ideas.

You may also find some New Year inspiration from this poem by Wendy Cope.

New Season

No coats today. Buds bulge on chestnut trees,

and on the doorstep of a big, old house

a young man stands and plays his


I watch the silver notes fly up

and circle in blue sky above the traffic,

travelling where they will.

And suddenly this paving stone

midway between my front door and the bus stop

Is a starting point.

From here I can go anywhere I choose.

Wendy Cope