January Blues

January 5, 2012

January cleanses and purges are in the air, from edited closets to major storage solution purchases and last-ditch diets. What hopeful projects have you taken on so far?

I love fresh starts; they inspire me to no end! But what do you do when the beginning-of-the-year blues hit? I’ve heard a few smart tricks, like painting something yellow, writing simple gratitude lists every night before bedtime, and leaving up the twinkly lights until March!

How about you? How do you chase away those January blahs and stay happily inspired?

P.S. Have you taken down your decorations yet? I still haven’t — but Saturday I’m determined to make it happen. Don’t forget to leave a note to yourself like the brilliant Amy does!

Twinkly lights from Emma Jane’s lovely house tour as seen on Design*Sponge.

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mrsblocko January 5, 2012 at 8:59 am

I just got done taking them down. Whew.

I wish I knew how to chase away the Jan blahs. I’m really feelin it.


2 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

I’m feeling them too! I keep trying to ignore them, because I have such a long list between now and Alt Summit that I need to keep working. I wonder if neglect will make the blahs go away. : )


3 The New Diplomats Wife January 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

christmas officially ends january 6th so that’s the day for us!


4 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

Tomorrow sounds like a great day for packing things up.


5 Christa The BabbyMama January 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

We’re thinking we’ll take down our decorations this weekend. And I’m not sure how the Babby is going to take it since she loves Christmas and is convinced that it’s still Christmas.

I hadn’t heard of the January blahs until now – seriously – but thanks for giving a name to what I’m feeling. I think I accomplished a lot in December. Nothing Earth-shattering, but I got everything I set out to do done. Now I have some goals for 2012, but no idea where to start! Maybe I’ll try to paint something yellow…


6 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

Yellow fixes lots of things. : )


7 Mary January 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

We took the decorations down on New Year’s Day, but next year I’m going to target 1/6, the official last day of Christmas. Perhaps it’ll help ease the transition into January. One thing I do to beat the blahs is watch the sunrise/sunset times. Recognizing that the days are now getting longer excites me. Gratitude lists are also really great. I write weekly “Three Beautiful Things” posts on my blog, and it has helped me stay more positive and focus on the good stuff.


8 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

Gratitude lists/books/columns are like magic!


9 hikooky January 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

Three things:
I have always loved leaving up our Christmas house lights and decorations until well into January. Why not? It’s pretty! I love evenings when I can plug in our tree lights and enjoy the colorful, cozy glow. It also helps remind me to continue reflecting on my faith as the new year starts.

I am militant about all window blinds being open all day every day to let in every bit of light possible. Light is food for my spirit.

Lastly, I must surround myself with colorful things. Color affects my mood immensely. I think that’s why I enjoy Scandinavian home design – bright white walls, lots of gorgeous color.

Happy New Year!


10 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

I love your “Why not? It’s pretty!” attitude!


11 Corrie Anne January 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

I love that photo!! I want a big mirror with twinkle lights!! Our lights are still up. But we didn’t get much else up — so there’s not much else to take down. I’m using running and my new toy — a blender — to ward of January blues!


12 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

Yum. I hope you’re making smoothies. Or milkshakes!


13 Shannon @ A Mom's Year January 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

I’m giving myself the entire week to slowly take Christmas things down and really get everything organized for next year. It’s such a gift to myself to wrap the Advent books now, put things away in the bins they actually go in (even though I want to just toss everything in at once!), and jot down ideas for next year’s gifts.


14 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:11 am

Great thinking here, Shannon. I felt myself calming down with the image of you slowly, carefully putting things away.


15 Kaely January 5, 2012 at 9:42 am

I’ll be taking ours down tomorrow as well. We always wait for Epiphany to take the tree down. We’ll have our first King Cake of the season too. It’s hard to get the January blues in Southern Louisiana. Mardi Gras starts up on 12th night and soon there will be parades to go every weekend.


16 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

Mardi Gras to the rescue!


17 Barchbo January 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

I don’t decorate! :) We travel at the holidays so we just enjoy everyone else’s decorating.

I lovelovelove January! Fresh start, new chapter, cold weather – without the busy holiday schedule to interfere with my snuggling and nights in by the fire. For when it dips below 60, of course.

Happy New Year! I think 2012 is going to be great!


18 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

“without the busy holiday schedule to interfere with my snuggling and nights in by the fire”

I hadn’t thought of it like that. Genius! Maybe January will become my favorite month. : )


19 Lori January 5, 2012 at 9:58 am

I just gave the office a HUGE purging and organizing overhaul and it feels incredible. I still had the bills filed from our first apartment 13 1/2 years ago…what is wrong with me??


20 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:14 am

Go Lori! I love that after-organizing feeling.


21 Tamara January 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

I thought it was just me….. I am trying to beat them by staying active as much as possible at home and at work.


22 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

I have the same instincts, Tamara. Sort of: put my head down and get to work.


23 Mila January 5, 2012 at 10:07 am

We never put any decorations up, so we don’t have to worry about that this year :) I am trying to sort through all the mess of stuff that has piled up over the year and see what we really need/want. I like the idea of painting something to make is special again. I LOVE that mirror! Is it yours? I need one like that in my life


24 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

The mirror’s not mine, but I love it too. Let’s copy it!


25 Lauren January 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

I haven’t taken my decorations down yet either, but am so glad to read that I’m not the only one! I plan to undecorate and do a good cleaning this weekend, but still leave up plenty of white lights inside. In January I try to decorate with lots of white lights, silver, and candles to keep the house feeling festive and cozy and keep myself from feeling sad about the holidays being over and the cold weather.


26 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

I love the idea of keeping lots of white lights around in January. Smart and pretty!


27 katy January 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

You are not alone with the January Blues. I researched it a bit last year when it hit me terribly hard.


As for what to do to get it to pass? I think rest and time. And make a pot of sunshine soup – good for the soul and the belly.


Good luck!


28 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

Thanks for the links, Katy! I hope it’s not hitting as hard this year.


29 Ann January 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

Our tree is dry as a bone since we left on a vacation over the holiday. I didn’t even put lights on it this year. Just some handmade ornaments from the boys, pinecone ornaments, snowflakes and anything celestial. The boys do not want to dismantle yet but I bought some new box’s to store ornaments and I’m eager to figure out how they work. For now, I’ll do some shredding and slowly take something down each day.


30 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

“I bought some new box’s to store ornaments and I’m eager to figure out how they work.”

I love that feeling. It’s like having a new toy!


31 Sandra January 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

I love the new start in January but living on the west coast of Canada (pretty much a rainforest here) we don’t get a lot of sun in the winter. So I bask in any smidge of sunshine (I see some peeking through today!).

And the usual – regular walking outside, making sure that I speak with actual humans during the day (i.e. get off the ‘puter regularly!!!).

Having Alt Summit to look forward to is motivating me this year though – must.get.white.outfit.for.party…


32 Design Mom January 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

Oh my goodness! The white outfit is stumping me. I think I found a skirt in blush, but I haven’t had time to pick it up yet. Hopefully they’ll still have it in my size by the time I go shopping. : )


33 Jadah {family sponge} January 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

I started the Master Cleanse. I’m on day 3 today. My daughter and I made a video of how to make the cleanse recipe right after we took all of the tree decorations down. I am still waiting for my husband to take our bare tree downstairs. I love the idea of leaving lights around mirror. I have a large mirror in my home, and I may have to do that. Love these January blues ideas.


34 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag January 5, 2012 at 11:21 am

Like many others mentioned, I don’t take down our tree until January 6. But I’m leaving my lights-in-a-jar up until the end of February. I got the inspiration from YOU and Jenny from My Favorite and My Best.



35 sarah January 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

everything is down, although hubby needs to get the tree in the box. we started like 4 projects right off the bat.
staining concrete floors in the master bath, after ripping out old flooring of course;
repainting a few pieces of furniture, and selling another one!


36 amyks January 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

Just finished “de-Christmasing”, it took me all morning and now my house looks so bare, it makes me a little bit sad!!!


37 kelli January 5, 2012 at 11:50 am

I too leave the white lights up. It really helps! I get the blues but there are a few things that help, hands down the #1 fix for me is running. #2 is making plans with friends, we started a “top chef pool” where everyone gets randomly assigned a chef, we all go out to dinner somewhere swanky the friday after the finale and the winner doesn’t have to pay. smthg nice to look forward to. and #3 is working on side projects, im a designer too :) happy new year gabby!


38 maria January 5, 2012 at 12:03 pm

So far the thing that has worked fantastically for me this year, (to keep the blahs at bay), is switching a part of my schedule around. This week I started taking morning walks instead of my usual afternoon/evening walk and wow, it’s made all the difference. I feel like I’m seeing new faces on the trial, getting to experience the light in a different way and feeling exciting because this is something easy to stick to but enough of a change to make me happy!


39 vermontmommy January 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

We had our decorations down the day after Christmas. Most had to due with a puppy, that shall remain nameless, and his love of our tree. :) I think, based on a new puppy, this winter holiday lasted longer than others and I was ready to clean things up.

Today my youngest, she is 4, decided that today was the day to decorate for Valentines’ Day. I thought it was a great idea too. We usually wait a bit as we have two birthdays before VD and I try to only have birthday decorations up. This year we changed it up a bit. :)

We did pick up some lovely bulbs at the grocery store and they look lovely on our table and in the living room. I am going to pick up a few more to place around the house. They are usually quite inexpensive, last a while and are so cheerful.


40 Kate January 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I found this on Pinterest the other day and it looked intriguing. But I am also in search of something yellow. Maybe a few yellow things actually.



41 elz January 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I leave everything up until Epiphany, so I have a few more days. I love Christmas decorations and feel so sad when they’re gone!


42 Julia January 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I suppose I’m embracing the January blues in that I’m giving myself more breaks. December is a busy, full month! And with cold and snow outside, maybe we are supposed to…


43 Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) January 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

We took down our tree on Dec 27. It was the earliest ever, but I was relieved to get it all cleaned up early as I usually procrastinate.


44 allison January 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

no blues here!
I am working on our family House Rules {inspired by Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/search/?q=house+rules and Dottie Angel} to hang in the hallway and working on purging and simplifying. Getting rid of STUFF and setting GOALS for the new year will chase the blues away and make you feel lighter!


45 Jennifer F January 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

As this was our first Christmas in France…(and all of our traditional decorations inadvertently went to storage..) we were sparsely decorated – but it was nice…just finished taking the tree out yesterday…Thanks for putting a name to that let down, out of energy feeling..January blues…

I like the perspective of looking ahead to a fresh new year..with new goals and fresh ideas…something to truly ponder for a while..What kinds of family goals do we have for this year?…What kinds of new goals do I have for myself?…What fresh new ideas do I want to try?…Thanks for getting me thinking.


46 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay January 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I live in Minnesota. People leave their outdoor lights up extra long here. I think we need the good cheer.

This year my daughter and I made a New Year Tree. It is a big branch. We made the ornaments. Little banners with 12 or 2012 on them. We made a ton of clocks for midnight. We have moons and the tiniest white lights streaming down. We filled little glass bottles with glitter and wishes for the new year and hung those too. It is delightful and keeps the place from looking bare. It also doesn’t look anything like Christmas which makes it feel fresh.


47 Sabrina January 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I don’t generally get the January blues because my birthday and my daughter’s birthday are both this month so we have more celebrating to look forward to. However, whenever I am feeling a little blues or unmotivated or downright down in the dumps I try to look outward and try to find some service I can do outside of my typical serve my family day in and day out.


48 Adventures In Babywearing January 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

The first few days were awesome for me, but starting yesterday I’ve really had the blues! Hoping it passes soon.



49 Lori H January 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Our very dry tree is the last thing standing and goes outside tonight! I love the fresh, uncluttered look of the house, even as I enjoyed the cozy decor all December. I try not to give into winter blues, and enjoy the excuse to be inside, under blankets and reading great books! In the warmer weather, I always feel I should be outside getting things done. Not in the winter!


50 Jess (Where My Heart Is) January 5, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Last year it took me until the end of Jan, as we only put it up on the 23rd of December as a result of being stranded in Paris due to the snow! It is such a big job decorating our tree that it took me a month to work up the energy to take it down. I’m determined this year to take it down soon. Actually today it is scheduled in the calendar – so wish me luck.


51 Gandhali January 5, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Our balloons and twinkly lights from New Years’ Eve are still up! The balloons are gold coloured, and they make everything look so happy! :-)


52 Rebeccarama January 5, 2012 at 7:19 pm

January blahs are here too.
Still, at least its summer in Australia. If it was cold and dark and then I removed the christmas lights I would be truly desolate….
So I guess I deal with the January blahs by eating mangoes and swimmng with friends and looking forward to the beach holiday next week with my 4 sisters and their families.
I must admit to feeling teary as I took down the tree ornaments this year. My yoingest child is 2 months older than your baby June and I realise that by the time I next put these decorations up- she will definately not be a baby anymore. Maybe if I left the tree ornaments up, she might stay a baby forever….

R x


53 JennyLynn January 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I had a bit of the Holiday blues. It felt like it just breezed by way to fast. My holiday stuff is tucked back into their boxes until next year.


54 Rachel January 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

it has taken me a few days into the month, but I am finally feeling my ‘groove’ and YES – I love fresh starts.


55 Justine January 8, 2012 at 7:55 pm

My husband knows how sad I get to pack up all the holiday cheer, so he did it for me! Dear heart. For the rest of the month, I am keeping busy by participating in a frugal living challenge. http://frugallysustainable.com/step-2-how-this-works/

It is my best resolution ever already, even though we are only on day 3. Tomorrow we are cancelling our cable, and I look forward to finding other forms of entertainment aside from television.


56 Sheila January 9, 2012 at 7:57 am

We’d already taken down the christmas decorations, however right now I’m kinda lost at what I want to do and achieve this year. There are a lot of obstacles that I have to go through before I can achieve all that I am planning to have this year. But rest assured, I will take it one step at a time to achieve everything this year.


57 Fashion for the Rest of Us February 10, 2012 at 7:21 am

I did not even know the expression, but I have been feeling quite “blah” lately!



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