January blues are normal.

Person Standing Near Lake

They are particularly real for many of us with financial hardship. December is expensive. There is a lingering aftermath of the festive season.

If December is a month we think of others, perhaps in January it’s time to make time for yourself.

For me this means treating myself, by making time for simple things that give me joy, just looking out for the blue in the sky. The other day, as I looked, I saw a rainbow too. These things gladden my heart.


I focus on my blues, listen to them, to discern wisdom.  

I am inspired by the fact that what is termed blues music originated in the songs that African- American slaves and former slaves sang, as they worked in difficult environments, way back in history.

Many of their songs are about finding strength in what is around you. Blues singers tell their stories, share their feelings. It’s ok to do this. I’m not a singer but I look for strength within my blues. Here are the ways I do this in ten-minute slots.

Silhouette of a Man Playing Saxophone during Sunset
relax & focus

I make myself comfortable, and for ten minutes, just sit in silence, relax, focus on my breathing. I listen to any sounds and noise, dogs barking, birds chirping, people talking.

Man Lying on Floor with Phonograph Records

I enjoy writing. So, for ten minutes I write, how I’m feeling, my story.

I enjoy reading, and take ten minutes to read a few pages of a book or a magazine.

I like music. So, for ten minutes, I listen to my favourite music or music station, I tune in to you, OJ.

I give attention to plants, like Snowdrops in January, marvelling at their beauty.

Closeup of tender flowers of snowdrops with white petals and green stems on black backdrop
Reflection and prayer

I take ten minutes to reflect and pray. I read a short passage from the Bible, reflect, and finish with a simple prayer.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I also put my January blues into the context of Christmas.

In Church circles Christmas is not a one-day event that is quickly over.

Christmas tide is a forty days festival till Candlemas on the second of February, and gives a rhythm to my January blues.

Inderjit Bhogal, 18 January 2023



Pause For Thought is featured on BBC Radio 2. It is hosted on the OJ Borg programme at 2.30am (GMT). Inderjit contributes regular short reflections on various topics, often related to spirituality, philosophy and personal experiences. Inderjit provides a moment of reflection and contemplation offering you a brief pause. Here, Inderjit shares his insights and wisdom, to inspire you, encourage you, or provide a moment of reflection before you start the day.

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