Let’s not pretend otherwise – this is a terrible time of the year.
The festivities seem a lifetime away, you’ve over-eaten, over-drunk – and over-spent.
Now you’re back at work, everyone’s moaning, and everyone has got the cold. And that’s before we even get to the bigger stuff –
Trump, Brexit, environmental collapse, not being able to get a Greggs vegan sausage roll.
The roll of misery stretches ever onwards.
However! It’s not all bad – spring is just around the corner (honest) and the new year is the perfect time to turn your back on the darkness and try new things.
Scottish charities and social enterprises offer a range of fun and interesting activities and events that also ensure you can lap up that feel good feeling of supporting a good cause. Check out our January blues-busting list of causes you can sign up to.
First of all, take the plunge!
Team GB swimming heroes Mark Foster and Duncan Goodhew are urging people to sign up to Swimathon 2019 – the world’s biggest annual swimming fundraiser - which is raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.
Foster, the former World, European and Commonwealth champion, who set eight world records during a glittering career, is supporting the campaign, alongside Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew, President of Swimathon.
Designed intentionally so people of all swimming abilities can participate, there are a variety of distances available as individual challenges - 400m, 1.5k, 2.5k, 5k and the new Triple 5k, while 1.5k and 5k are also available as team challenges for family, friends or colleagues to take on.
Take a pedal pledge!
A final call has been made for cyclists to be part of Team Macmillan’s success story at Etape Loch Ness 2019 in April.
It has become one of the most formidable sporting squads the Highlands has ever seen, with hundreds of members cycling thousands of miles and raising £1million for charity in the process.
Over 5,000 entries for the popular 66-mile sportive around the world-famous loch sold out within 51 hours of going on sale in October, but a limited number of additional places have now been made available
for cyclists who pledge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Hundreds of riders have already signed up to ride for the event’s official charity partner - including many whose lives have been touched by the disease – with the aim of helping Macmillan provide vital services to cancer patients and their families.
There are few better ways to make yourself feel good than helping someone else.
Volunteering can be a great way to do something different and meet new people, whilst also providing a vital service for the community.
With funding harder to come by than ever and a greater demand for the work of many charities, there are no shortage of exciting and interesting roles available at a variety of organisations.
The International Voluntary Service launched its Volunteer Pledge campaign on 1 January in a bid to curb a national decline in people helping out.
Walk the walk!
People of all ages from across Scotland are taking the first step towards getting fitter this New Year, by signing up for iconic night-time fundraising event The MoonWalk Scotland, organised by breast cancer charity Walk the Walk.
Thousands of women and men wearing brightly decorated bras will take on a 6,13, 26 or 52 mile walking challenge through the streets of Edinburgh on Saturday, 8 June, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.
Apart from raising millions of pounds every year, the charity is also passionate about encouraging people of all ages to realise their own potential for good health and wellbeing by walking.
And keep walking!
Scots have been invited to kick-start the new year by vowing to Walk All Over Cancer.
Perfect for anyone who feels they’ve over indulged at Christmas, Cancer Research UK’s latest fundraising campaign Walk All Over Cancer involves participants getting sponsored to walk 10,000 steps every day for a month.
Walking 10,000 steps at a brisk pace could burn around 500 calories – that’s equivalent to twomince pies or a couple of slices of Christmas cake.
Not only will taking on the challenge help raise money, it has health benefits as well. Moderate exercise can help build stamina, burn excess calories and protect against a range of diseases including cancer.
Get your running shoes on!
The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) is urging Scots to choose new year resolutions that help some of the poorest
people in the world, including getting fit and signing up for its Wee Box 6K Family Fun Run.
Registration for Sciaf’s annual fun run, which will take place in Strathclyde Park on 4May, is now open.
The entry fee and sponsorship will help Sciaf’s life-changing work across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, enabling families to have enough food to eat, support themselves, live in peace, learn new skills and get emergency aid when disasters strike.
Taking part in the event will be a fun challenge for people of all levels of fitness, both young and old. Every step taken, whether it’s running, walking or jogging, will bring someone living in poverty closer to freeing themselves from hunger, poverty and injustice.
If that all sounds very frenetic, why not pencil in some time to chill out.
Activities such as yoga, massages and t’ai chi can help to release that tension in your shoulders and give you a positive mindset for the new year.
The Health and Wellness Hub provides a number of services including health and wellbeing programmes, personal development training courses, classes and therapies to organisations and community groups in Lanarkshire.