January beauty checklist

January beauty checklist

Forget new year’s resolutions you’ll never keep, set yourself achievable challenges to make a real difference, says Tamsin Blanchard

Forget new year’s resolutions you’ll never keep – set yourself achievable challenges to make a real difference, says Tamsin Blanchard.

Who are we kidding? We all know that January is the worst possible time to try to set yourself up on some kind of crazy self-improvement regime. It’s the one month of the year we really do need our favourite tipple, some delicious cheesy comfort food, and an extra half hour in bed in the morning.

It’s cold outside, we are broke, and this year’s summer holiday seems like a lifetime away. So don’t join the gym and don’t torture yourself with deprivation and a punishing work-out. The abs can wait!

My four-point Jan plan

January should be reconfigured as the month of quiet indulgence and gentle pampering. The best way to ease yourself into the new year is with some achievable challenges. And I mean achievable.

1. Better posture

For the past six months or so, I have been having Alexander Technique. When I started it, I didn’t really know what it was or how such a basic exercise as going from standing to sitting in a chair could possibly make a difference. But over the weeks I have come to not be able to live without those weekly tweaks to my skeleton, and I find myself making those slight adjustments day to day. If I have time, I even make myself lie on the floor for ten minutes, semi-supine with a few paperbacks under my head. I press my back into the floor and it makes me feel taller, straighter, more in tune with my own body. It’s a work out of sorts, and a rare moment of stillness and I have come to really value it. I’m so glad I met my instructor Caroline Sears. It’s worth asking around for a recommendation or you could ask at your GP’s surgery for local recommendation.

2. Better exercise

Another achievable improvement will be to improve my swimming technique. If, like me, you don’t like (or can’t do) high-impact exercise, you might well enjoy swimming. I am a very enthusiastic swimmer but unlike my children, I was never really taught to swim properly. I remember getting my 25 metres certificate at primary school by walking most of the way (I really thought the teacher couldn’t see and they probably couldn’t because the water was usually green and murky). So I really think I would get much more out of my swimming sessions if I improved my technique. I know that if I sign up for just six lessons, my sedate breast-stroke will be transformed.

3. Better relaxation

I have decided that in 2017, I will also be booking myself in for at least one spa session with friends. I have three friends who all have birthdays, like me, in February or March and we have a tradition of spending a morning at a spa as a birthday treat for each other. It’s a great way to catch up properly, as well as to warm up and - with a good scrub - get rid of all those nasty toxins and dead skin cells. Instead of a facial, I will be treating myself to a luxury pot of face cream. I know it’s going to be expensive, but that makes it feel more of a treat every day I use it.

4. Better wardrobe

With body, mind and skin in perfect (ish) harmony, I will tackle my wardrobe. A January review is always a good idea – a long hard think about all those clothes you didn’t wear the year previously (no, not once!), to make the trip to your favourite charity shop (or cherry pick items to sell), and think about a few new looks for 2017.

For that, however, you’ll have to wait for February’s column. See you then.

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Great tips

Invictus1 12/01/2017

Reading your article has just reminded me that i must go through my wardrobe and get rid of clothes i haven't worn in years!! Charity bin here i come.

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