The biggest first world problem in all the land: what to do with that wonderful little slither of time that sits between Christmas and returning to work with a sad little crumpled face, empty bank account and pot belly come early Jan.
It’s a time most notably lost to a haze of leftover Quality Street, decaying cheese and relatives that you would struggle to name five facts about.
(Soz lads if you’re already back at work – espesh soz if you work in retail. YOU GOT THIS).
It’s also a time when you kinda feel guilty because omg ALL the time. You could do anything, you could write a book or go for a run every day and basically go back to work looking like an Olympian, or you could volunteer at a cat shelter or maybe knit a scarf or re-decorate your entire house but no, the sofa looks nice doesn’t it?
It’s a time where every single damn day, normally about 5pm as you’re starting to wonder if maybe a nice little Dominos order is on the horizon because lol, gotta fit in some extra cals before your big January diet detox, you get pangs of regret because ffs, you’ve literally done nothing today.
Man, you so guilty. You should have been more productive. And there’s like this internal clock that’s like FOUR DAYS LEFT, THREE DAYS LEFT, TWO DAYS LEFT, BITCH YOU’VE WASTED YOUR BANK HOLIDAYS MWAHAHAHAH.
So yeah, here’s some things you could do. If, like, you’re starting to get bum sores from keeping your pretty little toosh stuck in front of Big Bang Theory re-runs (because where’s the good Christmas TV been this year, eh?).
1. Set yourself up the sexiest of little pamper afternoons. Have a long soak (large glass of ‘but it’s still Christmas’ wine optional), do yourself a sassy pre-NYE fake tan, pedicure and manicure and maybe sort out those stray brow hairs that have turned you from cute Kylie-Jenner lookalike to dishevelled gorilla in the space of Christmas week. (My full pamper checklist is here).
2. Book a blood donation appointment here. Because it’s vital you have the next date for gorging on a big dinner booked in your diary. What? You might faint otherwise, duh.
3. Make a giant mug of extra-thick hot chocolate and top with whipped cream, a flake and maybe some extra grated chocolate because y’know, Christmas. Take a real-cute Instagram photo of it so you can call it work and say that you’re ‘growing your brand’, obvs.
4. Start a new box set. Obvious as heck, but right now you’ll get that sweet, sweet feeling when you watch something new and then omg you have nothing to wake up for and it’s totally cool if it keeps you up until 2pm because SO. FLIPPING. ADDICTIVE. Need inspiration? Everyone is talking about this at the moment.
5. Make a finances spreadsheet. Sounds dull, but wouldn’t it be nice to have 2016 as the year you actually start saving rather than blindly fumbling around in the dark, crying and praying to the money gods that your card doesn’t get declined? List all your incomings and outgoings so you can see how much you realistically have to play around with each week and set up a monthly Direct Debit to a savings account, even if it’s just for £25.
6. Do a puzzle. Like, a 1,000 piece one. Because when else do you have an excuse to just sit and chain-drink tea and put together a puzzle?
7. Rather than make some weird, mental, never-going-to-happen plan of exercise attack for January (because let’s face it, your 5 gym classes a week regime will literally last just that – a week), ease yourself in with a couple of YouTube yoga videos from the comfort of your living room. If only as an excuse to eat more Camembert.
8. Hoover all the corners in your home. Is it just me, or is there always festering dust balls under chests of drawers and bookshelves, and in nooks and crannies, that you just never seem to hoover up? Go get ’em tiger, and then feel smug and seriously chill about how clean your home is.
9. Go to IKEA. Because you love IKEA. We all love IKEA. Go at night and get meatballs and buy too many plants and candles and wine glasses.
10. Have a cinema and Nando’s date with your bae. Or with your fave gal pal. It’s hideously uncultured, but man, is it goooooooood.
11. Do a home clear out to make room for all your new presents (and accidental online sales buys). Go through everything from clothes and accessories to DVDs and books and kitchenware and trinkets and donate it all to charity shops. Have a general life de-clutter because man, it feels pleasing to the soul.
12. Invite some pals over and have a build-a-burger evening. Make homemade patties and then layer up with cheese, bacon, onion rings, barbecue sauce, gherkins, jalapeno, salad, whatever you damn like. Oh mama.
13. Take yourself out for a country walk with a favourite person or two and get stuck into some good meaty conversations. Pick up a take-out coffee on route to make yourself feel a bit sassier if that’s how you roll (and maybe some sort of sexy baked snack…).
14. Organise your work area. Whether you blog part-time, are a student, or like to have a desk or work cupboard just because, it’s nice to have it feeling fresh, clean and organised. Throw away rubbish, treat yourself to a few new notebooks and desk plants, and get ready to feel seriously damn inspired for the year ahead.
15. Watch all the Harry Potter films in order. You got this boo, it’s an important life achievement.
16. Set up a nachos and game night with family or friends whilst there’s plenty of people chilling at home looking for an excuse to shower and put on real clothes for the first time in 72 hours. Utilise this time before you get lost in the mundaneness of every day life again and forget to see people until HANG ON HOW IS IT MARCH ALREADY. Make plans and cram in quality time before work makes you forget about what’s important all over again…