the blog

January blues – coping as a freelancer

Jan 14, 2022

When you are working on your own then the January blues can hit hard. Here are a few ways I have learnt to deal with them in recent years.

When I got back to my desk after the Christmas break last week, my inbox was bursting with emails along the lines of “start planning now to make sure your 2022 is the best” and “how to smash your goals in 2022”.

And I just thought no – this isn’t for me.

Honestly, my only aim in January is to complete client work. That’s it. If I do anything else then that’s a bonus but if my clients are happy at the end of each day in January then that’s a win for me.

I know January can be tough going for so many people and so many reasons. So, I have decided to focus on finding joy in January.

Empty beaches

I live just a few minutes walk from the beach in Cornwall and in January there is only a handful of people there. Where’s the joy in that you may well ask since it’s too cold to sit for long and there’s certainly no sunbathing. For me, walking on an empty beach is one of life’s simple pleasures – just me and the rhythm of the sea. I find it so peaceful and can help wash my January blues away.

Also, there are no restrictions on dogs on the beach in the winter. So if I’m not alone then I am with lots of happy doggos running around and living their very best lives. If anything can make me smile it’s a happy dog.


“A quality of presence and experience of togetherness”

I understand that Hygge is more than just tea and cake and cosy blankets but any self-care which leads to a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered – what’s not to like?!

January blues hit hard because of short days

The only plus side I can find to it getting dark early is that it means that sunsets are also earlier.  I love watching the sunset but sometimes in the summer, I’m too tired or lazy to go out to watch it.

But now, I can get a lovely walk in the daylight via the shop for dinner ingredients and watch the sunset on my way home. All before 5 pm leaving time to carry on with work. Or if I’ve already finished all my client work (see my previous comment about my work aims in January) then put my jammies on and settle in for the evening. 

WFH – a brilliant antidote to the January blues

Working in an office in January can be horrible. Having to leave and return home when it’s still dark, getting wet and cold on the commute. 

In contrast, working from home in January can be an absolute joy.  If I have no zoom calls then I wear my warmest and fluffiest daytime jammies. And yes I have different categories of pyjamas!

If it is horrendous weather and I’m not doing detailed design work then I am in bed on my laptop. 😎

This has been my mantra for many Januarys. Including this one.

For many people, January is a clean slate with fresh opportunities. This is something I struggle with. I think it might be the pressure to start the year amazingly. But I know some people find this idea helpful. Just in case you are one of these people but your year has got off to a faltering start then you are in the clear. 

My family is Ukrainian and we follow the Julian calendar – and today is our New Year. So, feel free to restart your year again if you need to. And if you falter again then don’t worry as Chinese New Year is on 1st Feb!

Cheers and here’s to a happy and healthy 2022!

I’ve been listening to Joy by The Soil whilst writing these ideas.  If you have any other ideas for joyful songs, do let me know. X

Any questions or comments?