North East Post
Weekend Edition
Claire Kenny
Features Writer
7:59 AM 15th January 2022

Five Fast January Mood Boosters

Claire Marie
Claire Marie
After the sparkle and excess of December, getting back to reality in January can leave us feeling sluggish. But don’t worry if your mojo has done a runner – we can start small! 40+ blogger Claire Marie shares the little things that give her a real lift but take barely any effort:

1.Get outside: I remember the first time I went forest bathing. I'm used to people guffawing at my 'alternative' beliefs and interests but let me tell you, don't dismiss the benefits of pressing pause in your very own corner of a beautiful, lush forest until you've actually tried it! Although I’m a huge fan of forest bathing, I find I can get the same effect by simply going for a short walk somewhere quiet. It’s amazing how just being in nature helps me feel calm and grateful, and I don’t tend to need to go far to do it. I just get outside – somewhere with trees and/or water is my heaven - and focus on each of my senses one by one.

2.Watch the birds: Closely linked to the above and every bit as powerful is spending a little time focusing on our feathered friends. For me this is as simple as putting out a bird feeder and watching to see who comes to visit, but feel free to go full on bird nerd like my sister, who having received a lovely camera for her birthday, now spends many happy moments capturing photos. This is ridiculously relaxing and has the added benefit of requiring silence and concentration, so you can totally zone out.

3.Paint your toenails: I really feel like I have my shit together when my nails aren’t shit. When you really can’t be arsed, you might argue that painting your toenails is far too much hassle, but for me, there’s a particular level of self-loathing that comes with looking down and seeing manky, chipped monstrosities. As a minimum, remove old, chipped polish, file and save the new colour for another day. You could even do away with polish altogether and just focus on having your nails clean and shaped. That’s what I did with my fingernails because there are few polishes on the planet that last more than two days on mine without chipping, even Shellac!

4.Make your bed: I once saw a motivational speech by a heroic ex-serviceman with lifechanging injuries. When asked to share his key tip for staying upbeat, it was to make your bed first thing. I found the simplicity of this really refreshing because it’s something absolutely anyone can do. Making your bed does something mentally to say you’re ready for the day and can tackle any scenario, but don’t make it look too inviting because I reckon spending too much time in it or on it does something mentally to you too, and not in a good way. Before moving house last year I spent a week working from my bed because my desk and my dining table had both been collected by the recycling company. It was bloody awful and between working on it and sleeping in it, all that was missing was a bucket in the corner and bars on the window.

5.Light a candle: One of the problems I’ve found about working exclusively from home is the lack of demarcation between work and my own time. Having a ritual – however small – can signal to your brain that it’s time to chill. And it makes your house smell gorgeous so it’s win win. Just remember to blow it out, especially if it’s posh.

Give these a try – it’s amazing how the smallest things can give your spirit the biggest lift.

What’s your favourite ‘can’t be arsed’ top tip?

Claire can be found on Instagram and Facebook as