Your ultimate guide to getting through the most depressing month of the year without a human hot water bottle
It's cold, you're (mostly) sober, feeling flabby. Evenings are looming ahead in January as a singleton with nothing to look forward to but watching War and Peace, eating the last of that box of Celebrations nobody else wanted and swiping half-heartedly on Tinder. STOP! It doesn't have to be this way! Here's a foolproof plan to get you through January when you're single.
HIT THE GYM
Slobbing out every night for the next three weeks is not going to help your emotional state. No! Instead, it's gym time! Why? Simple: This is a great way to get yourself through the mean days of January. If you're trying not to drink too much, either, then it's the ideal time to ramp up into exercise mode. Get those endorphins going, have something to do after work instead of going home and eating the left over chocolate. You'll soon be leaping into Feb with a few pounds lost and slightly more toned arms.
REVAMP YOUR SEX TOYS
Dry January is not a euphemism, people. And this point isn't the usual 'have an early night and some "you time" cheesy line'. This month, use some dark evenings to find out a bit more about what works for you. Try some new toys, test out a couple of new lubes. I'm not saying go all Charlotte from Sex & The City when she gets her first Rampant Rabbit, but exploring your body when nobody else is around to do it with you is always going to be time well spent.
PLAN YOUR TIME
How to get through Jan being single while all the world is planning a family holiday, even the people in the ads on the telly? Easy: book your own. A spa weekend with the girls, a weekend break with your mum or sister or best mate. January will fly by when you're working off those Christmas pounds at the gym and planning your mini break of single wonderdom. Short on cash? Then book to see an exhibition or activity that costs a little less than a weekend away.
Cold dark nights will feel loads better when you're full of wonderful tasty food. But not junk! There's a ton of new cookbooks on the market, treat yourself to one and try some new recipes. Then plan a dinner party. It doesn't have to have involve booze if you're doing dry Jan (although I'd open a bottle of red). It's about the company. About not having to tip anyone for service. Get the games out (Cards Against Humanity and Bananagrams are winners) and have a good giggle with friends instead of chatting to people online you haven't met.
REASSESS YOUR DATING
You were probably wondering if I was going to suggest looking for love as a way of beating Jan as a single woman. So, is dating a good way to get through January as a singleton? Well it depends how you do it. Heading out into the dark every weeknight on a date isn't the best. Instead, this month while you're working on your own body and cooking and seeing mates, take some time to figure out what you're looking for and where to find it. Instead of uploading a profile onto the last site you saw advertised, spend a couple of evenings doing some research. Which site really will have the men that might be for you? What kind of profiles work? Maybe consider having some fresh photos taken. Then when the clouds clear and it's Feb again, you'll know what you're looking for, and be in a place where you're ready to face Spring - single and either ready to mingle or go ahead with being ok just as you are, man or no man. Note: If you do feel like dating, try a Saturday or Sunday afternoon coffee date, not a boozy evening one.
...Oh and I nearly forgot. Cashmere socks.
And a decent soft blanket throw to hide under on the sofa. Because there will be the off night you want to hibernate. And when you do, be prepared with the frozen leftovers of that nice meal and the softest socks you can find. After all what's the point of having all that disposable income you don't spend on a bloke or family if you can't have the odd single girl luxury?
Jenny Stallard works on the features team at Metro newspaper. You can buy her new book 'Boyfriend for Christmas' on Amazon.