Day Four of 2015!
I've been reading Alan de Boitton's 'The Consolations of Philosophy' over the last couple of days, and today I was learning about the teachings of Epicurus and his focus on 'pleasure' and the essentials to live a happy life.
To quote Alan on page 55:
'The task of philosophy was, for Epicurus, to help us interpret our indistinct pulses of distress and desire and thereby save us from mistaken schemes for happiness'.
After a good deal of thought Epicurus came to the conclusion that there were three key essentials one needed to be truly happy: freedom, friendship and thought, followed by the practicalities of food, shelter and clothes.
I quite like the sound of Epicurus. Next to Socrates and the Baronness of Trumpington I am tempted to add him to my 'Dream list of people to invite to a dinner party', but ruminating on his teachings led me to think about how I was to prepare myself for the oncoming January - i.e. the month which has been unanimously coined THE MOST DEPRESSING MONTH OF THE YEAR by seemingly EVERYONE EVERYWHERE. January, if you don't know it, is the month where if you don't say at least twice a day "GOD, ISN'T JANUARY DEPRESSING?" to eveyrone you meet everyone looks at you and thinks you are clearly hiding something, an android or about to suffer a restrained mental breakdown.
Thus, how am I going to cope in a month where it is almost encouraged to feel glum, because everyone bangs on about the fact money is tight, bills and taxes are to be paid, it's cold and suicide attempts are at their highest at this point of the year****....
It was at this point of thinking today at 5pm I walked across the Waterloo Bridge and looked at the view. It was not your typical view from Waterloo Bridge. It was not a Love Actually type of view. It was ridiculously apocolyptic - something you imagine from the novel Children of Men. It was hauntingly bleak, almost Dickensian, with the fog in the air so thick that the view of St Pauls and the OXO tower looked as if it had been painted sepia, with smoke curling around the letters O X O to give the impression it was shivering. However, the more I looked at it, the more I realised how stunningly beautiful it was. If you had added a Francoise Hardy or Kate Bush song over the view I was looking at, it would no longer have been depressing, it would have been artistically romantic. Not Love Actually romantic, but more A Bout De Souffle romantic.
It is all about perception and thus it is not rational or an efficient use of ones time to assume that OF COURSE your month is going to be shit with your reasoning being "because it's January".
Therefore... to conclude today's blog....
Here are my five little eccentric tips to survive the January Blues, all compartmentalised into five easy segments and all previously tested by myself...
Fairys + Lights = Fun . No one can be depressed in a room covered in fairy lights. Trust.
Even if Bon Iver is on (do not listen to him during January, even if you ARE actually Bon Iver). Go and grab some Fairylights from the 99p store and stick them in your room. Instantly 'Wes-Andersons-up' your room and the glistening colours will enhance that feeling of joy you may have had when Christmas was on.
Get some Cheerios.
Even if you don't LIKE Cheerios. Just the name. Less 'Cheerios' and more like 'CHEERY-YOLOS'. Am I right?
If you can't get rid of that glum January feeling of melancholy you might as well commit to the whole part and pretend being French while you do it. Fuck it, get some croissants, borrow an E-Cigarette and put Edif Piaf on. You may be depressed but you'll be doing it with some style AND You'll be eating crossants. So you win again at life.
Listen to Elton John & WHAM.
Need I say more?
Okay then, fine, if you need more convincing...
If you HAVE to feel glum at LEAST do it to Elton's 'I guess that's why they call it the blues' before dusting it off with WHAM's classic 'Club Tropicana' (Image the summer to come?)
Also, nobody can feel sad after googling images of Elton.
Just do it now.
Get drunk (or, if you are on 'Dry January' just spin around really fast about 10 times) and get EVERY bath bomb you can find from your local 'YOU PROBABLY SMELL BAD' shop. Then, go home, run a bath (or go to a local pond) and throw them ALL in at once. Watch the chaos, laugh manically at all the colours and overpowering lavender scents, then sit in said bath eating your croissants from earlier and listening to 'This is your Song' by Elton whilst googling images of WHAM.
High-Five yourself every day (yes, this is also known as clapping for the everyday popular person)
Hug as many people as you can. (ask them first)
Every opportunity you have, stroke a puppy or dog. (one that looks emotionallly capable of dealing with affection, NOT that dog that barks right by the bins).
And there you have it.
Other ideas include pulling a party popper every morning when you get out of bed to celebrate the fact you survived the night and also playing 'Hide & Seek In the Dark' with your flatmates...
*****constantly being told by magazines & newspapers that the most number of suicides take place in this month doesn't really help with the marketing strategy of making January more liked..... but there you go....