Oh the inevitable January blues.
As we count down on New Year’s Eve we are launched from bright lights and buzz to dull and dreariness. Hibernation can seem like the only option to combat the January blues, but it’s the perfect time to get moving and see what 2017 has to offer you.
Whether you want to kickstart a new career, catch up on some culture, or even just have a laugh, Belfast has it all to offer.
Unleash your inner creative
January is the perfect time to hone a new skill and get creative. Whether you put paintbrush to paper in an art class, or finally take that photography workshop you’ve been thinking of, or even attend a poetry slam night. It’s a productive start to the year and will help you be more creative in your day to day. Everyone is born creative, it’s just up to you to exercise it. Check out some of the classes in The Crescent Art Centre.
One great way to beat the blues this January is to focus your energy on something else. Don’t they say a little healthy competition is good for the soul? There are some super sporting events in Belfast this month. If you feel like shouting in the crowd Ulster are playing Bordeaux on January 21st in the Kingspan Stadium and for something different the Belfast Giants are facing the Nottingham Panthers on January 20th. There’s nothing like that sense of community when cheering for your team.
Go out to lunch
In case you haven’t heard, Out to Lunch is a festival is back this January returning to the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast for a range of events. From DJ sets to comedy, as well as music and of course the food, this is one festival not to be missed. There will be a few familiar faces such as Ulaid and Duke Special as well as James Vincent McMorrow and Dr Phil Hammond, there is something for everyone. Performances and food, Out to Lunch comes just when we need it the most.
Have a laugh
One way to shake the blues? In one word – laugh. This January try out one of Belfast’s many comedy clubs. It will be a welcomed change from your usual nights out, and a guaranteed laugh. There are a range of comedy clubs to suit everyone’s budget. Some we recommend to check out are Monday Night Comedy at the Pavilion Bar or Lavery’s Comedy Club. Another favourite is The Empire Laughs Back Comedy Club which takes place every Tuesday Night and is hosted by BBC Blame Game’s Jake O’Kane and Colin Murphy, with many other funny guests.
One way to help combat the January blues is to spend some time practicing mindfulness. You can experiment with this yourself or why not try a workshop. Practicing mindfulness will help you worry less, and cope with your emotions better. It will also help you be less self-critical and more productive. It will not only help you cope with the winter woes but is a powerful way to start off the year.
Culture it up
There are so many wonderful exhibitions and events throughout the year in Belfast, but there are two brilliant ones to be part of this January. On January 22nd you can help celebrate Chinese New Year at The Ulster Hall. This Januray The Ulster Museum is taking visitors on a scientific journey. The Elements exhibition is the only one of its kind in Europe. You can find out what the elements look like, where they were made, how they occur naturally, how we use them, and why they can be dangerous.
Be good to yourself
Dark, dreary evenings with less socialising can take their toll on even the most positive of people it’s important, more than any other time of the year, to be good to yourself. This means having some well-earned you time whether that means indulging in a meal with old friends in bubbacue or treating yourself to a leisurely lunch in Avoca. You deserve some retail therapy in Victoria Square Shopping Centre or go ahead and pamper yourself in one of the city’s best beauty salons.
Do a runner
Why not set yourself a goal for the end of the month? The Belfast Telegraph Run Forest Run 5k is on January 21st. Grab a few friends and walk/run/crawl it together. You can end January on a healthy high and keep it up the following months by taking part in the other Born2Run events. There’s even a 10k of you’re feeling up for it.
A like-minded meet-up
In this wonderful city, full of wonderful people you are sure to find someone with wonderful interests like yourself. Whether you would like to network with professionals in your field or find some friends with similar hobbies. Look at websites like Meetup.com where you can find groups meeting up about anything from big-data to books. You could also check out GirlCrew for female friendly meetups from careers and motherhood to nights out and hikes. Go on, why not?
See the city in a new light
How many of Belfast’s top tourist attractions have you enjoyed? Why not designate one day this month to seeing the city through the eyes of a tourist? Take a trip to the Titanic Museum or stroll around Queens University, If you want to go all out you could hop on one of the sightseeing buses. Whatever your pick you’ll be wandering around the city you know well with wonder in your eyes.
Of course there are endless events to try out in Belfast, and whatever activity you choose, make it your mission this month to get out there and beat the blues this January.
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