“Don’t be too hard on yourself if you failed on the green juices, gym sessions and early nights. The January mindset, according to yoga teacher Julie Montagu, encourages a flawed and joyless start to the year, which only leads to falling off the wagon in February – if you haven’t already done so.
Rather than being so strict and sanctimonious, we’re far better off indulging ourselves a little at this bleak time of year. “I don’t do Dry January because I truly believe I will go into February and binge,” admits Montagu, a mother of four who is married to the future Earl of Sandwich (juliemontagu.com). “February is a worse month on so many levels: in January the year is fresh and you can set yourself goals, but by February you have let it all go – and it’s still dark, cold and raining.”
Life coach Hannah Braime (hannahbraime.com), author of the self-help book Becoming Who You Are, agrees that instead of fasting, we should focus on the things that make us feel happy and relaxed and that we look forward to. “Introduce activities that light you up,” she says. “I tell my clients to make a ‘when life works’ list – for me it’s writing and spending time outside, listening to a podcast, but for others it’s a massage or a manicure.”