Blue Monday: Embrace The Blues In North London
Written by: Sophie Taylor
The formula published to explain why Blue Monday exists makes little to no mathematical sense. It looks pretty though.
Apparently the date was originally devised by a travel company using weather conditions, rising debt levels, time passed since failing our resolutions and decreasing motivation levels. According to their research, the third Monday of January is when most people start looking into booking holidays.
I know I’ve popped a few plane tickets in shopping baskets online, irrespective of my bank statement / time off.
But what if, instead of forcing further debt on ourselves with a holiday and wishing the whole of Winter away, we embrace these blues? Travel doesn’t magically make you happy.
Often we feel depressed as a result of circumstance. Sometimes it’s a hormonal imbalance. At other times it’s a more permanent illness that we have to live with and learn how to cope. And it sucks.
But we’re not alone.
Whether we go out, stay in, drink or stay sober, here’s how we’re going to shun a travel agent ad campaign and be miserable right here in North London.
You don’t have to go dry. Unless you really want to do it yourself, enforced sobriety usually ends down the pub in shitfaced defiance.
Screw you dry January! You rasp, downing another shot of wine, alone. Then along comes the sober light of day again bringing his friends: Mr Crushing Paranoia and Ms List of Neglected Responsibilities.
If you like a pint on a cold Winter’s day, have a pint. If you fancy spending the afternoon in new craft beer shop on Stroud Green Road, do it. Equally, if you feel it’s time to give the booze a break, go for it. Find strength in numbers and join the January wagoners or be a maverick and start next month.
It’s up to you, not a hashtag or preachy online article. Ahem.
Have some sex. What! You cry. If only it were that easy! Or, What awful advice, you frown, sex doesn’t solve everything!
No, it doesn’t, but it does happen to withhold a plethora of health benefits that can help boost your energy levels, immune system and mood, both temporarily and long term. Check in with yourself emotionally of course and make sure you’re both (or all) on the same page and no one’s getting hurt.
While a slutty rampage through North London may not be the answer, a session of quality love making with someone you fancy the proverbial pants off can do wonders for your self esteem, stress / anxiety levels and even sleep patterns, ironically. Of course, some anti depressants and depression itself can lower (completely crush) libido. The underlying issues need to be tackled first. Read this handy article for a few ways to get in touch with yourself first.
Whether it’s to decrease your midriff or make you feel less deflated, nutrition is your best friend. Well that’s what Instagram says. Already switched off? I know the feeling, but even the act of ‘making the effort’ can improve your mood for a bit.
Getting out, choosing some extra ugly chunks of ginger and squashy avocado, chopping them to bits and blending up a disgusting green concoction can.. well, it can be pretty vomit inducing actually, but there are more hearty and tasty recipes out there. Have a look at our yoga buddy, Kate Oate’s blog and insta for immune boosting recipes or peruse London based nutritionalist, Christina Moi’s healthy Asian inspired recipes.
CBA cooking? Try our top suggestions for vegetarian food in your area. I enjoy fannying around Mother Earth health shop on Highbury Corner and imagine the nourishingly beautiful creations I’d knock up if I could be bothered. Then proceed to blow my monthly food budget on one slice of organic cheesecake. It’s good for me, alright?
That pizza you felt so bad about isn’t going to ruin your life. Ordering takeaway every day might not help, but allowing yourself a bit of what you fancy does your sense of wellbeing a world of good.
Have a look at local, Olivia Potts’ food blog for inspiration and wonderfully fatty recipes. After deciding being a Barrister wasn’t for her, Livvy realised her love for cookery. When her mum died in 2014 she found it surprisingly therapeutic to start baking and then, to write about it. She soon became a food writer for the Spectator and is currently gaining a patisserie qualification from Le Cordon Bleu, no less.
Her pinned tweet and life ethos reads, ‘NOT 👏 EATING 👏 CERTAIN 👏 FOODS 👏 DOES 👏 NOT 👏MAKE 👏 YOU 👏 A 👏 BETTER 👏 PERSON’ which is fabulously dramatic and true.
Read through her recipes and get lost in her life stories whilst you’re there. You’ll find a heart warming tale of finding love via Twitter as well.
I don’t necessarily mean out out. Usually the last thing you want to do is venture outside when you feel like a limitless grey blob. But it’s funny what a tiny bit of oxygen can do.
So before you go ordering an expensive canister from eBay, get a hit of the stuff in Clissold Park. Look at all the dogs and get jealous at their carefree existence. Call someone. Breathe. Lie on the grass, get scratchy and wonder why you came outside in the first place. Have a stretch. Power walk back to your home comforts. Grab a coffee on the way from Sapid. You don’t have to fill your days with achievements and big social outings.
Hungover on top of everything else? Find our top four places to embrace it in North London.
Make plans. Cancel them. Get an injection of dopamine when you do. Feel guilty for a bit. Beat yourself up over not making the effort. Watch a boxset of crap and forget about yourself. Catch yourself in one of the characters and feel a punch in your stomach as you’re reminded about all your problems and flaws. Pull the duvet in, order a pizza, eat your feelings, feel good for a second, feel fat the next, throw the box at the wall. Promise yourself you’ll go for a run tomorrow. Lay out your trainers with a line up of all your best intentions.
It’s a cycle we know well. Don’t punish yourself for not going out in the first place. Let people know you’re being a hermit and that it’s not personal. Cook some nice food, watch a good film you’ve been meaning to see, record that ridiculous guitar solo. Make the most of hermit time and treat yourself well.
This too shall pass bitches. We’ve got this.
Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.
We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside
This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.
Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.
Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.
Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at jumbletrail.com where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.
You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.
Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.
Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.
Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.
Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!
Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.
Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.
Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...
So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.
Did you take one look at the ticket prices for Glastonbury, vomit in your mouth and close your laptop slowly? Did you get a debilitating case of FOMO scrolling through your friends Glastonbury pics and “oops lost my phone at Radiohead” status updates? Or did you actually go to Glastonbury, witness Jon Snow drop the f bomb and now know that life will never get any better