Banish the January blues with these mood-boosting ideas

  • If you’re lacking motivation or feeling out of sorts, check out these ideas to help give your energy levels a boost and help your mood at this time of year.

    Go pointing

    Dig out your warmest clothes, thickest socks and woolliest of hats and head to your local point-to-point. It might be a tad chilly, but it’s a great reason to get out in the fresh air and meet up with your friends. If you don’t have the enthusiasm to conjure up a picnic, there will be burger vans and bars on hand. And whether or not you can afford to have a little flutter on the horses after Christmas, you can still try to pick out a winner.

    Become a volunteer

    Helping others is a great way to boost your mood  this January, and you don’t even need your own horse to do this one. Organisations such as Riding for the Disabled and World Horse Welfare are always on the lookout for volunteers to help out. Or why not contact your local show or sponsored ride, where your help — whether that’s fence judging, stewarding, running the car parks or helping in the tea tent — will be much appreciated.

    Give your hands some TLC

    We all know that riding and looking after horses doesn’t do your hands any good. So treat your hands this January by investing in some good hand cream, and keep cracked, dry mitts away in 2020.

    Plan ahead

    When the weather is miserable, why not transport your mind to somewhere much sunnier and book tickets for an event during the warmer months such as Royal Ascot (16-20 June) or Badminton (6-10 May)? Then you can look forward to sipping a glass of Champagne in the sunshine, even if the winter weather is doing it’s worst outside right now.

    Find a bargain in the sales

    Whether it’s treating your horse to some new gear or updating your own riding wardrobe, we all love a spot of retail therapy. So check out the January sales before they end and see what cheeky bargains you can fathom, but remember that a bargain is only worth buying if it’s an item you are going to use frequently. Don’t spend money splurging on things that look cheap, but you don’t really need as that’s a waste of money and may ultimately make you feel worse in the long term.

    Avoid cabin fever

    Feeling stuck in a rut when it comes to your training? Then why not book in for some indoor showjumping or dressage at your local equestrian centre to give your training some focus? Or sign up to a clinic with a top rider, which will offer the perfect inspiration for the coming season.

    It’s okay to have a sofa day

    If driving rain dampens your riding spirits it’s perfectly okay to have a more relaxed day on the sofa with a blanket occasionally. Why not line up some of your old favourite films like National Velvet, Black Beauty or Seabiscuit and crack open the popcorn?

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    Give the yard a facelift

    Having a clear out can be cathartic for all of us, so you could tackle that messy tackroom or feedstore that has been bugging you for months, or sort out those muddy gateways once and for all. If it feels like too big a job for just one person, see if you can gather some friends to help you, then you can offer them a hand with a similar task in return. After all many hands make light work!

    The joy of Cheltenham

    The home of National Hunt racing has a wonderful way of brightening the mood all round. Even if it’s drizzly, there is no better place to watch top-class racing action. Head to Festival Trials Day on Saturday 25 January to get some pointers for the main Festival in March.

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