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.
Joined by over 50 other artists incorporating printmaking, painting, digital art, photography and small-scale sculpture, Tomorrow’s World presents us with utopias, dystopias, predictions, prophecies and visions of the future. We hit up the private view last Friday and it was pretty damn bleak, in the best sense of the word.
Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.
Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon
Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.
Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loathe it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.
Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!
Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.
God bless the Queen... of Hoxton. Or, more specifically, their rooftop - which happens to be one of our favourites in this here city of London. These guys are well known for creating beautiful, seasonal pop-ups which have included the Nordic Viking themed 'Skye Halla' and the Neverland inspired 'Bangarang'. This winter make way for 'The Moroccan Medina', a sky high hideaway inspired by the romanticism of the beguiling ancient city of Marrakesh.
Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.