January is the Worst Month of the Year

We did it, folks! We trudged all the way through another January, which I consider to be the very worst month of them all. This particular January came with some extra trials and tribulations that I don’t need to rehash for you, but that isn’t my point.

January never gets the ball rolling for a successful year, despite the Times Square ball drop in the first few moments. The majority of us wake up on New Year’s Day exhausted, off-track and often hungover from the previous evening of shenanigans. This bumpy beginning isn’t the only reason that January just sucks.

2021 written in bright light fireworks Photo by Moritz Kröringer from Unsplash

  1. 1. Unreasonable Resolutions

    Person Wearing Brown Bubble Jacket

    It’s a bit cliché to complain about New Year's resolutions, but it’s impossible to consume any form of media in early January without being inundated with advertising on the topic. Planet Fitness is particularly prolific during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” with their purple and yellow swag and repetitive commercials. 

    The health and fitness industry wants to make some quick cash from the common desire to get healthy in the new year. Whether it’s getting stronger or losing weight, companies know that most can’t stick to those goals. While shedding a few pounds quickly is possible, many people use unhealthy, unsustainable mechanisms. Most aren’t able to maintain this loss. According to Hall & Kahan, studies reveal that on average, “more than half of the lost weight was regained within two years, and by five years more than 80% of lost weight was regained.”

    Make January less painful by skipping the weird diets and extreme workout plans. You should launch self-improvement goals when you’re actually feeling inspired, independent of the calendar.

  2. 2. Post-Holiday Blues

    Gingerbread Man Cookie

    It’s time to revert back to dry, heads-down productivity after a whole month of celebrating. Thanksgiving was the appetizer for a joyous season of holiday lights, gifts, treats and everything in between. Even if you don’t observe Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, you are likely to at least feel the spirit! January is the disappointing post-holiday comedown.

    The eight cookie varieties that remain on the kitchen counter aren’t as exciting as they were three weeks ago, and they’re starting to go a bit stale. That little gingerbread man might crack your tooth if you don’t revive him in the microwave for a few seconds. You still feel obligated to eat him rather than quietly tossing him in the trash can and contributing to food waste.

    That cool holiday gift that you were anticipating has lost its novelty by now. You can’t remember a time before the new air fryer, and now you have to clean it after each use. Cooking was fun and fancy for the first few days, but now you realize that it’s just a small oven that takes up precious counter space. 

    You may get a Monday off for MLK Day, but it isn’t celebrated in a way that genuinely honors his legacy. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work is boiled down to a corporate email that was probably recycled from last year. Sad, but true.

  3. 3. Where's the Sun?

    person looking at street lamp

    Luckily the shortest day of winter passed back in December, but January’s 5 p.m. darkness is quite a mood killer. The twinkling porch lights have been packed up for the next holiday season, so being outside at night loses that festive energy. Putting away the decorations is a demoralizing way to spend a weekend in early January. Plucking the ornaments off the tree is like watching the credits after the series finale of your favorite show. Netflix offers some subpar suggestions to watch next as you sadly realize, "wait, it's really over?"

    While there are few extra minutes of sunlight added each afternoon, you can't see the bright, warm light at the end of the tunnel. There are still several months before the flowers start to bloom and Daylight Savings comes around. Mark your calendar for March 14! Losing that hour of sleep is worth it for the evening sunshine.

While our current state of living causes every day to feel the same, at least we are 1/12 of the way to 2022. The yearly calendar is pretty arbitrary, but that first month’s vibe just never satisfies. I don’t want to jinx things, but life can only improve now that January is over. 

February brings the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. Time will start to fly by, and there are only 28 days to get through. You’ve got this!