The festive season is long gone and as we languish in the depths of winter, it can all become rather gloomy and depressing...

The days are short, the temperature low, and the British weather even more miserable than usual. Winter can also be a very busy time of year and it is important to invest in your wellbeing.

Below are ten recommendations for how to avoid the dreaded January Blues and kick-start the new decade and 2020 in style.

1. New Year Resolutions – ensure that the ones you set in the heat of the moment (with a tub of Roses in your lap on Boxing Day) are realistic. We all want them to be successful, so be sensible about it and check that your deadlines and targets are actually reachable. If not, bin them. Succeeding is so much more fun that being saddled with guilt over something you were never going to achieve anyway.

2. Enjoy the great outdoors – The Lake District is an amazing place for walking and is a World Heritage site. Whether you want to enjoy a scenic waterside walk or be more adventurous and climb the fells the Lakes has it all to offer for keen walkers, explorers and families alike. It's quiet this time of year, too!

3. Plan your next holiday - whether its a last-minute winter escape, February half-term and Valentine’s break, Easter Bank Holiday getaway or looking at your summer holiday plans, now is the time to get sorted and have something to look forward to. 

4. Spend quality time with your dog – the Lake District is incredibly dog-friendly, with lots of pubs and cafes that welcome both you and your four-legged friend. (If you want to stay with us, we have dog-friendly rooms at Brathay Hall too!)

5. Exercise – this is definitely a popular New Year resolution and one that I have set for myself this year. I am making it more enjoyable by exploring the Lake District, playing ‘Just Dance’ and joining classes at the gym rather than just being on a treadmill. A quick Google will provide a wealth of ideas, local classes and a chance for you to get out and get active.

6. Try something new – be spontaneous  - try something different this year! Getting yourself a new hobby or activity is a great way to revitalise yourself and meet new people. Start by asking yourself "What have I always wanted to try..?"

7. Self-reflect – evaluate what makes you happy in life. Are you concerned about your health, fitness, money or career? Taking a bit of time to think about this and look at your options when the days are short, and the weather gloomy, might provide you with a different path.

8. Preparation – make things easier and prepare the night before for your next day, whether that be clothes, packed lunch, shoes – save that essential time in the morning when you are rushing to get out the door to work.

9. It's a date! – make the most of your calendar or diary and record those exciting dates that you have planned for the year – something you can look forward to!

10. Support Brathay – When you book a B&B stay or getaway at Brathay Hall, all the profits go into our charity and support the work that we do with children and young people. We offer vegan and vegetarian alternatives for breakfast, lunch and evening meals, if you've gone Veganuary too! 

Have a great year!