Dancing at twelve o’clock at evening! Sticking the numerous other ways up! 50 strategies to leave a January enjoyable rut

1. January is one of the most terrible month to occur a weight-loss program, desertion drink in addition to skim the criteria. I chomp staying Xmas cake, sip prosecco in addition to look at the cosiest, excellent magazines: I Take the Castle by Dodie Smith, The Unanticipated Site Visitor by Anne Tyler in addition to the entire of The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard. Jacqueline Wilson, writer

2. To leave the enjoyable rut, I’ve been sending myself love notes each morning. I write one thing type or humorous, or draw an image on a Put up-it, then stick it to the toilet mirror earlier than mattress. I overlook it’s there and am at all times stunned within the morning. It’s like sharing a secret with myself. Saima Mir, author

3. I have actually began hanging the other way up. I don’t have a harness or something – I simply type of cling off the again of my mattress. It helps relieve rigidity in my shoulders and I am going briefly right into a bat-like, meditative state. I discover it invigorating and enjoyable, however not after a giant meal. Katherine Parkinson, actor

4. I like to enter my wardrobe and discover the brightest patterns I can, layering jewelry and attempting on totally different seems. I do that in my house, too – I just lately designed a rug assortment and I like to modify designs and alter the entire look of the room. It makes me really feel optimistic for the 12 months forward. Iris Apfel, trend guru

5. We determined to not throw out our Christmas tree. One weeknight, after the youngsters had gone again to highschool at midnight, we watched a Nigella Christmas particular by the fairy lights of the tree and ate leftover chocolate Santas. It was perverse. It was naughty. It was deeply Nigella-ish. And thus a brand new custom was born: Christmas in cheerless January. Chitra Ramaswamy, author

6. I began enjoying bridge 4 years in the past. I had realized at college, however hadn’t performed for many years. After I moved to Liverpool, I discovered myself driving previous Liverpool bridge membership on my method to work and determined to make the leap. I completely adore it – it’s completely absorbing and actually sociable. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, vicar, Liverpool

7. Recent air is the most effective drugs. Discover an out of doors exercise buddy and arrange a easy circuit utilizing park benches and one another. Hold it enjoyable and easy: 30 seconds train, 20 seconds relaxation, for half-hour. Deliver the youngsters and canine. Bear Grylls, adventurer

‘I have actually began hanging the other way up. I am going briefly right into a bat-like, meditative state.’ Illustration: Fabio Buonocore at Synergy/The Guardian

8. I’ve taken up netball and play in an area league twice per week. I hadn’t performed since faculty, however it will get me out if it’s horrid and darkish – we play exterior in any climate above freezing – once I would in any other case be in entrance of the telly. Emma Jacobs, NHS supervisor, Milton Keynes

9. The Koala Sampler music-making app is a surprisingly easy method to get your artistic juices flowing. It allows you to document snippets of sound to create your individual tunes via sampling, enhancing and sequencing – and the design is intuitive sufficient for use by novices. Ammar Kalia, international music critic, the Guardian

10. I’ve taken up orienteering. I began a few years in the past, with the household. It will get us out of the home and into essentially the most fantastic terrain. The maps are lovely, too. At first, I got here final in each race; now, I often beat no less than a couple of folks. Johanna Waters, professor, Cambridge

11. I get pleasure from enjoying conventional Japanese phrase video games or creating seasonal haikus with my kids. Now we have numerous enjoyable collectively, plus it’s academic for them. Two of the video games I’ve essentially the most enjoyable enjoying are shiritori, a word-chain sport, and karuta, a playing-card sport. Marie Kondo, author and TV presenter

12. A 12 months in the past, I went to an area burlesque class and was immediately hooked. The routines have been numerous enjoyable to study and the group was so welcoming, encouraging and body-positive. In February, I’ll be taking to the stage as a like-struck robotic. What different passion offers you such gloriously unfettered freedom of expression? Emily, monitoring and analysis supervisor, Abingdon

13. I found a field stuffed with previous Video games Workshop figures from the 80s and 90s in my dad and mom’ loft: house troopers, magical knights and numerous monsters. I discovered a method to strip them of paint and I’ve had numerous enjoyable repainting them. Toby, writer and lawyer, Bedfordshire

I like to journey via meals. Each night time, I make a meal from a unique nation

14. Unusually for a woman cast within the fires of rock music, I’ve initiated myself into Okay-pop. It’s introduced a brand new wave of vitality as I try to mimic the flawless dance routines of BTS and Stray Children round my lounge. All ardour, no talent, however the pleasure is unbridled. Remona Aly, author

15. I get pleasure from Cuban salsa, which I discover extra calming than yoga – it’s nothing just like the salsa you see on Strictly and attracts a extremely various crowd. Whereas the music is enjoying, all I can take into consideration is decoding my accomplice’s lead. Additionally, I get to go mad with sparkly tops and frocks. Sarah Maclennan, educational, Liverpool

16. Writing is the right method to escape this bleak, hostile month. I like to recommend free-writing: as soon as your pen hits the paper don’t take it off, aside from areas between phrases. Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes and don’t censor your self – you by no means have to indicate anybody. Writing is a passport out of this gray surroundings. Laura Dockrill, poet and writer

17. My girlfriend and I’ve been beating the winter blues by moving into the traditional David Lynch sequence Twin Peaks. Not binge-watching – two episodes max a night – offers us something to stay up for on daily basis. Often, we share a bag of popcorn, too. Alex, challenge supervisor, Bedfordshire

18. Float! Not the freezing, freshwater exercise that out of doors swimmers proselytise, however in an indoor flotation remedy tank. The purpose is to do precisely nothing in an enclosed pod full of heat, salty water. Mild music lulls you into complete darkness for 50 minutes, throughout which you simply “be”. Arifa Akbar, chief theatre critic, the Guardian

‘I found a field stuffed with previous Video games Workshop figures from the 80s and 90s in my dad and mom’ loft …’ Illustration: Fabio Buonocore at Synergy/The Guardian

19. I like to journey via meals. Each night time, I make a meal from a unique nation. I like to seek out recipe web sites, resembling The Woks of Life for Chinese language cooking or Simply One Cookbook for Japanese recipes, and study extra about a spot via its delicacies. Exploring dishes generally is a stroll via historical past or a portal to a different a part of the world. Kay Fin, instructor, Canada

20. I’m not eager on dancing in public, so occurring Strictly was an odd alternative. I imply, 10 million folks! Nevertheless it seems I’m very glad dancing at midnight. I don’t want Kevin Clifton, just a few banging tunes, probably tequila photographs, maybe enthusiastic associates. Lights out and uninhibited gyrating will unleash a brand new, joyful you. Anneka Rice, TV presenter

21. My allotment has been a godsend. The lean winter months are occupied making stuff together with a shed, a sculpture in homage to the worm, composters and a pergola. Most supplies are salvaged from skips. It’s absorbing, barely eccentric and will get me exterior – I don’t know what I might do with out it. Alain Velocity, architect, London

22. Audiobooks make time fly; it’s like having a good friend with you all day. As an grownup, folks don’t learn to you any extra, however out-loud storytelling is an exquisite factor. I’m listening to Younger Mungo by Douglas Stuart and The Rivers of London sequence by Ben Aaronovitch, which is great. Andi Oliver, chef and broadcaster

The Koala Sampler music-making app is a surprisingly easy method to get your artistic juices flowing

23. To a blind man like me, all the home entrances close to my very own are irritatingly alike. Decided to resolve this drawback, I just lately found that subsequent door’s backyard wall had the slightest variation in floor, detectable by contact. No extra strolling embarrassingly into the incorrect driveway! Fixing persistent issues like that is extra enjoyable than you may think. Peter White, incapacity affairs correspondent, BBC

24. I took up dance-hooping throughout lockdown and it turns into extra enjoyable on daily basis. Together with the dexterity and health I’ve gained, I’m so grateful to have discovered this countless fountain of pleasure in my life. I like hooping in winter because the darkish evenings imply I can use my blacklight and UV hula hoop and have myself a celebration! Jessica Legon, illustrator, Swindon

25. Precision-engineered to obliterate the January quagmire is the Mighty Hoopla Massive Weekender. Devised by the now-retired east London membership night time Sink the Pink, the social gathering descends on Butlin’s Bognor Regis for 3 days and nights of queer pool-party enjoyable. I’m counting down the times. Juno Dawson, author

26. Getting a psychic studying may sound a little bit woo-woo, however my God are they enjoyable. Even for those who’re not completely bought on the paranormal, you’ll in all probability nonetheless get some hints as to the belongings you need in life. Higher but, get a good friend to have one, too, and examine your futures. Hannah J Davies, deputy editor, newsletters, the Guardian

27. 4 of us participate in a weekly board-game night time, with every of us taking turns to decide on the sport. Board gaming is improbable escapism and between us we have now sufficient video games that no two nights are ever the identical. Often we’ll have themed nights and match the meals to the sport, too. Laura Okay, Derbyshire

‘I like to enter my wardrobe and discover the brightest patterns I can.’ Illustration: Fabio Buonocore at Synergy/The Guardian

28. A superb TV sequence takes your focus off the moist and chilly exterior. I normally decide what to look at in my home, however my spouse hates it once I watch an episode on my own. For the time being, we’re watching a South African sequence known as Blood and Water. Babatunde Aléshé, comic

29. Throughout lockdown, a good friend recommended we begin a foreign-film membership. Every month, one member chooses a movie, which we every watch at our leisure, after that we get collectively on a video name to debate it. It’s an excellent method to see movies you wouldn’t have chosen your self and also the discussions are additionally numerous enjoyable. Christine Osgood, retired HR marketing consultant, Twickenham

30. Get into cryptic crosswords. I discover they’re most enjoyable achieved with a good friend over a cuppa. When you’re new to them, get an previous crossword and have a look at the solutions. Work out which bit of every clue was the definition, which bit was the wordplay and go from there. It’ll in all probability include extra bathroom humour than you have been anticipating. Dave Gorman, writer and comic

31. I’ve began randomly video-calling associates. Brits, particularly, typically appear panicked at my shock name – however as soon as the shock subsides, the spontaneous chats are literally fairly pretty. A few of my favorite reminiscences this January have been mendacity on my sofa and laughing with folks I hadn’t spoken to shortly. Amrou Al-Kadhi, author, drag performer and film-maker

32. I feel watching previous Star Trek episodes and knitting is about as pleasurable because it will get. For the time being, I’m in the course of season 4 and knitting a forest-green bag. Just lately, I’ve additionally been making up my very own patterns, which has really added to the enjoyable. Frankie Sadler, pupil, Wiltshire

Getting a psychic studying may sound a little bit woo-woo, however my God are they enjoyable

33. My enjoyable exercise has been brewing kombucha. You start with the starter micro organism, which known as a scoby. It’s alive. You retain it in a gallon glass jar, feed it with room-temperature, sweetened tea, cowl it with a fabric and in a few weeks you’ve gotten a semi-sparkling, vinegary drink. Add it to ice and you’ll child your self you’re having a cocktail. Philippa Perry, psychotherapist

34. I just lately took up alcohol ink artwork, which is gratifyingly fast and likewise mentally absorbing. You possibly can create some fabulously complicated and delightful summary artworks and there are many tutorials obtainable on YouTube. Whereas it prices a bit to get arrange, the inks go a great distance. Nicola Fern, digital studying developer, Manchester

35. Creatively fascinating areas that convey folks collectively nourish me. I really feel as if I must soak within the feeling of neighborhood. I wish to dance in shared areas the place you may eat and drink in unity and luxuriate in soul-music crammed afternoons. Gemma Cairney, TV and radio presenter

36. Make a pudding that sounds or seems extremely tough: eclairs formed like swans; a tart calling for 12 egg yolks. One thing you’ve by no means tried that will require cheap specialist package – a piping bag, say. Don’t make it for different folks – not but. It’s going to in all probability go incorrect, however it should style nice. Nobody has to know. Tim Dowling, author and columnist

37. I’ve been a rower for many years. Winter’s brilliant, crisp days supply an opportunity to benefit from the contemporary air and lovely surroundings. Typically it’s stormy and windy, which brings further challenges, however there’s terrific camaraderie amongst rowers – and normally a visit to a restaurant afterwards. Pauline Peel, retired insolvency practitioner, Walton-on-Thames

‘I prefer to “go overseas” to a sizzling nation with out leaving my flat. My most profitable journey was to Jamaica.’ Illustration: Fabio Buonocore at Synergy/The Guardian

38. I carry out standup comedy as soon as per week at a little bit membership known as the Holly Bush, in Cradley Heath, close to Dudley. I can nearly compose a 10-minute set in an hour. Final 12 months, I additionally organised improv exhibits, which was enjoyable and exhausting. I can’t wait to do it once more. John Parman, fundraising government, Dudley

39. What to do to get out of a enjoyable rut? Begin residing a little bit louder: transfer your physique, watch TV that makes you cheerful and get impressed. Take into consideration what sort of vibration you wish to be bringing to the social gathering. Chelsea Handler, comic

40. Purchase a Rubik’s Dice, after that spend hours memorising a sequence of strategies. Inside days, you must have the ability to remedy a 3×3 dice from any place. When the elegant set off strikes are flowing freely (it’s not for nothing that one sequence of turns is named “the Horny Transfer”) as well as muscle reminiscence overtakes your ideas, it feels virtually such as you’re flying. Tim Jonze, affiliate editor, tradition, the Guardian

41. In January, I prefer to “go overseas” to a sizzling nation with out leaving my flat. My most profitable journey was to Jamaica in 2020 – we ordered in curry goat, ackee and saltfish and fried plantain, and created a playlist that includes Sean Paul and Shaggy. Put on suncream for that vacation scent and put deckchairs out in your lounge. Holly Nicholson, flood engineer, London

42. I took up oil portray 4 years in the past and discover that it helps me to chill out. It’s actually satisfying to give you an thought and see it steadily emerge on the canvas. I notably like portray crows and cats and attempting to seize their personalities. Faye McNiven, lead auditor, Totnes

43. I like to bounce, however I’m too embarrassed to take a category. So, I train myself routines from musicals on-line, laboriously rewinding, practising footwork, posture, arm place. It comes out on the strangest occasions; in an empty avenue, I’ll discover myself springing into Gene Kelly’s kerb skip from Singin’ within the Rain. A giddy, non-public pleasure that makes me really feel higher in regards to the climate. Rhik Samadder, author

I’ve been having among the most enjoyable of my life volunteering with aged folks

44. Eleven years in the past, I joined a neighborhood band, Carnival Collective: a raucous, 30-piece drums, bass and brass mashup – and essentially the most enjoyable I might ever have imagined. It’s complete chaos at occasions, however it’s additionally lovely, and there’s not one individual within the band I wouldn’t name a good friend. Tinker Darach, care coordinator, Brighton

45. My 10-year-old, Charlie, loves the rain. On the worst, wettest days, we placed on our waterproofs and cycle over the scraggly hills in the direction of Lewes. First, although, we cease off on the village bakery for apple pies and sausage rolls to be consumed on the South Downs summit, with that magnificent, blustery view of the ocean. It’s simply the most effective. Nick Broomfield, movie director

46. I’ve been working often for about 5 years and it makes me glad like virtually nothing else. I hated sport at college, particularly working, and need I’d found Sofa to 5k at a a lot youthful age! Melanie Osborne, chartered engineer, Bristol

47. I’ve started sporting a really stupid-looking hat. It’s big and furry and makes me appear to be such an fool {that a} man recoiled in Lidl final week. This might have as soon as prompted me to wither up and die of disgrace, however now I discover it fairly invigorating – like I’ve simply been for a jog. Stuart Heritage, author

48. We get a barbecue, wrap up heat and head to a close-by seaside of a night. We toast marshmallows, then dip them in chocolate that we melted in tinfoil whereas the marshmallows have been warming. Watching the night method by the sunshine of the hearth is superb. Rachel Austin-Francis, coverage and partnerships improvement, North Somerset council, Weston-super-Mare

49. It’s true what they are saying about volunteering: you get again greater than you give. Opposite to what you may anticipate, I’ve been having among the most enjoyable of my life volunteering with aged folks. I like listening to their tales and study a lot from their insights. We snigger loads, too. Nancy Jo Gross sales, writer

50. I get pleasure from strolling, rain or shine. It’s fantastic how the identical panorama can look and sound so totally different from everyday, season to season. The identical place by no means bores me and I’m in any method times at my happiest when roaming or ambling concerning. Melanie, health and wellness treatment assistant, Dorset