It’s the most penniless time of the year

Aasma Day, Lancashire Evening Post Health Correspondent
Aasma Day, Lancashire Evening Post Health Correspondent
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April might be the cruellest month but January is definitely the SADdest.

I’ve realised I’m a real saddo.

25/01/2007 PA File Photo of a traditional piggy bank being smashed open with a hammer. See PA Feature PARENTING Money. Picture credit should read: Anthony Dervlin/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature PARENTING Money.

25/01/2007 PA File Photo of a traditional piggy bank being smashed open with a hammer. See PA Feature PARENTING Money. Picture credit should read: Anthony Dervlin/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature PARENTING Money.

I am, of course, talking about the technical term for people suffering fSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) something which affects most of us this month – the January Blues.

After the build up and excitement of Christmas and New Year, January always seems a bit of a letdown.

And I think the main reason for this – apart from the miserable weather – is that we are all penniless after excessive spending during the festivities.

The reality is, SAD should actually stand for Skint And Debt-ridden… and matters aren’t helped by the fact that January payday always seems sooo far away.

At LEP Towers, we were all so buoyant in December when payday came a couple of days earlier than usual, extra cash to fund those last minute presents and nights out.

But when we were spending that few-days-early money with glee, we weren’t thinking through the consequences of January payday being that bit further away.

And these final few days are definitely the hardest and my workmates and I have begun the countdown to payday.

As a result we have all come up with our own thrifty ways to try and make our little bit of money go further and have been pooling our ideas.

Some people are partaking in Dry January and laying off the alcohol for a month. Not only does this have the health benefit of giving your liver a rest, it’s wallet-friendly too.

Personally, I prefer the idea of my recently engaged and beaming workmate who is having a Bubbly January instead where she only drinks Champagne and Prosecco. However, this isn’t really a budget-friendly option.

Healthy eating regimes seem to be all the rage too and many of my colleagues are saving pennies while trying to cut down the pounds by bringing their lunch from home instead of buying calorie laden sandwiches and crisps.

One of my work friends and her boyfriend are trying to save money by eating what they have in the cupboards and freezer and not giving in to the urge to order a takeaway.

After looking in our freezer, I came to the conclusion we were in desperate need of a “big shop” or else we would be eating some very bizarre food combinations.

Another colleague made me smile after revealing her money-saving tip was spending M&S gift vouchers she got for Christmas on food so she and her partner could eat well without spending real money.

My own contribution to cost-cutting has been to avoid going on the internet and perusing sales sites to stop me getting sucked into buying bargains too good to resist.

I have also been delaying filling my car with fuel as long as possible and was hoping to make it until payday before filling up. However, I had to cave in the other day when my car started flashing a red light and telling me it only had 19 miles of diesel left in its tummy.

The thing that normally perks me up during January is the thought of going on a lovely family holiday to somewhere hot where the most physical exertion I expect will be to pick up my next cocktail.

We have booked our holiday, but even that seems too far in the future to have any real effect in banishing the blues.

So it was with interest I read hypnotist Paul McKenna has launched a new ‘holiday hypnotherapy’ concept where he gives people a 20-minute, one-to-one session which leaves them feeling like they have been on a two-week holiday.

Paul’s holiday hypnotherapy sessions promise to revitalise, refresh and restore your mojo by reproducing the feeling you get after a fortnight away.

The world renowned hypnotist claims the sessions simulate the feeling you get when the brain releases endorphins, the natural feel-good hormones associated with a holiday.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving money – in theory even if not in practice.

And I’m sure one of these new fangled hypnotherapy sessions will be considerably cheaper than actually paying for a real holiday.

But I think I’d feel cheated if I had to have a hypno holiday INSTEAD of a real one.

I can also see company chiefs rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of not having to give their employees any time off.

Instead of allowing each worker to have five weeks holiday a year, they could simply send them to the ‘Hypnotherapy Room’ for 20 minutes then reap the rewards of a rejuvenated employee.

But if these hypnotherapist holidays are used in addition to actual holidays, they could actually be a good thing as the virtual breaks could keep you ticking along nicely until you have some proper time off.

Maybe I could get hypnotised to eat less, spend less and exercise more at the same time?