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4 Top Tips to Beat the January Blues

4 Top Tips to Beat the January Blues

Hi lovely people! It’s Emma from @shecanteatwhat here. Now I don’t get that back to school buzz that some people do in January. It takes me a few weeks to get out of my post-Christmas daze, to wean-off the chocolate coins and brussel sprouts that I have eaten daily as a side at breakfast and to get back in the I’m-excited-for-work-zone.

It’s not that I don’t look forward to a new year, but instead that I find the first few weeks of one a bit overwhelming. The sparkle of December is often replaced with dull skies, early nights, a reining in of the purse-strings and an overall sense (at least in my case) of never-enough-time.

I’ve had to re-train my mindset over the years so that instead of dreading January and the cold dark depths of winter, I use it as a chance to reset instead - in particular, when it comes to my IBS. It’s a chance to check back in with myself and my body, to start some new routines, prioritise sleep and think about what I might like life to look like in the year ahead.

So if, like me, you need a bit of direction, motivation and inspiration, here’s how I’m planning on feeling my best at the start of 2023:

Swapping resolutions for reflections and goals

January is a great time for creating new routines and rituals, skipping over all things ‘new year, new me’. I try to look back at the year before and focus-in on the things I loved about it and the things that I didn’t. This might be in relation to work, social life, exercise, food or anything I feel like. I think about how I can include more of what made me happy and how I can prioritise it. Based on my reflections, I’ll write down a rough or skeleton schedule and some goals for the weeks ahead. I’ll go into more detail when it comes to work and the day-by-day but more often than not I’ll just start with the basics. Both can be flexible and adjustable, they just need some bones and when my brain doesn’t know where to start, these can be a great guide. To help achieve your gut health goals for 2023, I highly recommend using Bay's Kitchen Food & Symptom Diary.

Moving my bod

We’re often bombarded in the new year with fitness advertisements, beautiful new workout clothes and ‘5 foods that do xyz’ , but at the end of the day I know that regular low-to-moderate intensity exercise makes me feel good (and can be great in helping to manage my IBS symptoms). That might look like a yoga class, swimming after work, or a lunchtime walk around my neighbourhood. Even a dance in the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner. In January I try to remove any pressure to exercise and simply do what makes me feel GOOD. January is less social than the end of the year for me, which means that my evenings are more free. I’m also terrible at morning workouts when it’s cold and dark outside. There’s a fun pilates class I’ve been meaning to do for ages on Tuesday nights down at my local gym and I’ve decided this is my month to start!

Leaning into Veganuary

For me, it doesn't mean eating vegan everyday (I very much still include meat and dairy in my diet) but instead making the effort to switch it up by adding some new recipes into my rotation and eating a vegan meal once or twice a week. We all know that eating a variety of plant-based foods (that’s 30 different foods per week) is good for our gut and thanks to the gut-brain axis, our minds too. Diversity and nourishing your gut, wherever you might be in your gut health or FODMAP journey, is important, so this month I’ll be making some more (delicious) effort to do just that. With most of Bay's Kitchen products being vegan approved, this makes incorporating vegan meals so much easier. Try their Sauces, Pestos, Condiments and more. Their vegan recipes are also brilliant to give you some much-needed delicious inspiration. 

Practising self-care

January is a month where I try to prioritise sleep and (again, emphasis on the try) to get to bed early. I love reading and a good book is often enough to lure me under the covers at a respectable time. Podcasts bring me joy at lunch and I’m trying to be better at meditation. Some time away from a screen before bed for me is always good - even if that’s playing a card game with the people I live with on Friday night instead of diving straight into a film. For me, practising self-care also means trying new recipes, new ingredients, new hobbies - as big or as small as I fancy. Taking that time for a happier and healthier me - which I know in turn will help make for a happier and healthier gut.


Wishing you a wonderful year ahead x

Written by Cook & Author Emma Hatcher from

Copyright Bay’s Kitchen. Please do not reprint without permission.

Written by

Cook & Author

Emma Hatcher

Emma Hatcher is a cook, food stylist and recipe developer based in Brighton and London. She is a blogger ( and is the author of The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen Cookbook.

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