January is arguably the most challenging month of the year. The days are short and grey, the merriment of Christmas seems like a lifetime ago and it is a long, long wait until payday. Some of us turn to resolutions to pick ourselves up and some take to the skies in search of sunnier days. According to Chinese astrology, 2019 is going to be a year of  joy, friendship and investment. So why not kickstart the year by finding new and inspiring sources of happiness that you may even want to implement into your daily life after the blue month is over? Here are a few exciting and refreshing ways to lift your minds this January!

 

1. ‘Find your centre’ with Yogasphere and soundbaths in The Gherkin

Finding our ‘zen’ seems to be something we focus on in January and there is nothing more relaxing than a morning yoga class overlooking the cityscape of London followed by sound bath meditation to balance and harmonise your body and mind. The meditation is done lying done as you are guided through the relaxation using singling bowls, chimes and tuning percussion. It’s a refreshingly different experience designed to leave you feeling very, very relaxed so escape the ‘back to work’ hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets and enjoy a peaceful sunrise on the top floor of The Gherkin. (Bonus: for every session you book, Yogasphere will plant 10 trees! So you can tick doing your part for the environment off your to-do list as well.

The Top, The Gherkin, 30 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8EP
Saturdays 8.15am – 10am

2. Embrace ‘Veganuary’ with Vegan afternoon tea at the OXO tower

Meat-free January has quickly evolved into ‘Veganuary’, with more people than ever trialling the cruelty free lifestyle and reducing their carbon foot print. There is a common misconception that the vegan lifestyle is full of restrictions and lacking guilty pleasures; which is only true if you don’t know where to look. Cue the OXO Tower restaurant! Complete with sandwiches, scones with jam AND clotted cream, cake and prosecco, their vegan afternoon tea menu leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. Spread the word!

Oxo Tower, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH
Monday to Friday 3pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 3pm – 4pm
Sunday 3.45pm – 4.45pm
£35 per person or £45 with a glass of Prosecco on arrival
Available until 29th January 2019

3. Get outside and follow the path of an old railway that once ran between Finsbury Park and Alexandra Palace

Getting fit is perhaps the most popular New Year resolution year after year, and since the weather is still pleasantly mild, why not get outside? Whether you’re a jogger, cyclist or power walker, we can all enjoy Parkland Walk. Expect to see abandoned train stations, bridges and mythical statues.

Closest tube station: Finsbury Park

4. Bring more art into your life 

“I’m going to start doing more cultural activities on the weekend.” – Sound familiar? A lot of us make a conscious effort to educate ourselves in fun and inspiring ways in the New Year and Bloomberg New Contemporaries at the South London Gallery is a great place to start. The exhibition offers an insight into today’s creative practices, showcasing some of the most dynamic work by emerging artists. (Ends 24th February)

65-67 Peckham Rd, London SE5 8UH
Open until 24th February
Tuesday & Thursday – Sunday 10am – 6pm, Wednesday 11am – 9pm

If you prefer to immerse yourself in art (literally) then check out ‘We live in an ocean of air’, the latest virtual reality installation to hit the Saatchi gallery. Transporting it’s viewers to the canopy of a giant sequoia tree, the experience can only be described as a blazing explosion of light and colour.

Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY
30 minute slots can be booked on the Saatchi gallery website
Tickets £20

5. Rebel against dry January and celebrate Burns Night

For those of you that go against the grain and are not embracing the alcohol free start to the year, end January with a celebration! No matter your heritage, raise a glass and embrace the Scottish tradition of Burns night at one of these renowned cocktail bars. Traditionally, whiskey is the drink of choice on Burns Night, but these bars provide an array of cocktails, so your non whiskey drinking friends can enjoy their tipple of choice too! 

Disrepute: a hidden gem in the heart of Carnaby Street. Adorned with velvet furnishings and golden finishes, you’ll be transported to the 60’s in this hideaway for luxury libations.

4 Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW
Monday – Saturday 5pm – 3am
Sunday 5pm – 11.30pm

Four Sisters Townhouse: a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds. Described as a mischievously whimsical and elegant home away from home,  the Four Sisters Townhouse changes it’s cocktail menu regularly in keeping with the season, so it’s a safe bet that delicious whiskey cocktails will be on the menu.

5 Groveland Ct, London EC4M 9EH
Monday – Tuesday 3.30pm – 11pm
Wednesday – 3.30pm – 1am
Thursday – Friday 12pm – 1am

Dandelyan at the Mondrian: created by the World’s Best Bartender in 2015 and Personality of the Decade 2017, Mr Lyan, the Danelyan boasts a super sexy design with some of the best views in London. Complete with creative cocktails and legendary bartenders, this is a watering hole that certainly won’t disappoint.

20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
Monday – Wednesday 4pm – 1am
Thursday – Saturday 12pm – 2am
Sunday 12pm – 12.30am

Wishing you all a wonderful January, whether it be challenging and upbeat or laid back and reflective, I hope you all enjoy one of, if not all, the activities above! Don’t forget to keep #LivingColourfully.

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