Umbrella weather

5 Ways to have a Happy January

Christmas is fast becoming a distant memory and it’s easy to slip into hibernation-mode after a week of indulgence, but by putting the wheels in motion at the start of the year you can ensure you have an exciting 2016. Here are our top tips on how to have a happy January:

Make your workspace a funspace

January means going back to work after Christmas and it can take a while to get back into the swing of things. It’s important to make your workspace somewhere you actually like being in. Small additions like a wooden paper organiser or a smart desk tidy can make a real difference. If you really want to treat yourself, this sophisticated alder wood pencil set is a work of art.

You could take things a step further and completely re-evaluate your place of work. At Blue Forest we’re no strangers to the notion of having a workspace that echoes your business ethos. Having a working environment that enhances creativity is an increasingly recognised approach to creating an efficient and holistic workspace.

In the early days, Bensfield Treehouse was used as the Blue Forest office and Andy’s commute to work was a nice walk along a suspended rope bridge. Imagine working from a tree house office: you look up from your laptop for a little screen break and are greeted by the sight of leaves, branches and birds. Take a look at the work we did for Mind Candy, the makers of Moshi Monsters, who wanted a fun and engaging workplace in the style of a treehouse in their Shoreditch office.

Blue Forest Mind Candy Treehouse Office (9)

Keep to New Year’s resolutions

Many of us enter January with the “new year, new me” mentality, but more often than not we struggle and break our New Year’s resolutions within the first few weeks. Whether you vowed to exercise more, keep to a more nutritious diet or give up an unhealthy aspect of your life, there are plenty of simple ways to help you succeed.

Exercise doesn’t have to be a huge commitment, rather it can be fitted into your everyday routine. For instance cycling or walking to work instead of driving is a great way of improving fitness and also saves you paying for petrol. Exercising doesn’t necessarily have to be strenuous. Yoga, pilates and tai chi allow you to work on physical strength in a relaxing and peaceful space away from the high-adrenaline gym environment.

Healthy eating is another difficult one to stick to, especially after a month of mince pies and brandy butter. Try having a couple of weeks of clean eating to rejuvenate your body with all the vitamins it needs to help you feel at your best again. Clean eating involves embracing foods in their natural state such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. The BBC Good Food website is the perfect place to find healthy recipes that suit your taste.

If you’re really desperate for a guilt-free treat, dark chocolate has been proven to improve blood circulation, reduce cholesterol and protect against sun damage.

Dinner table

Recycle Christmas decorations to save the planet

It’s time to take down your Christmas decorations and remove all traces of the festive season for another year. If you had a real Christmas tree over the festive period, instead of throwing it away why not recycle it to help the environment?

According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme, around 250 tonnes of Christmas trees that could have been recycled for composting and wood chippings were thrown out after Christmas in 2007. In response many councils set up tree-recycling points.

The negative effects of climate change and unsustainability on our planet has fuelled the inception of green initiatives across the world. Here at Blue Forest, we are firmly committed to applying sustainable principles to the design and construction of our treehouses. You can make a difference by simply recycling your tree instead of simply throwing it in the bin.

Dartmoor Zoo has been collecting unwanted trees to use in enrichment activities with its animals. The wildlife park is widely recognised for its groundbreaking work in conservation and educating young children. We created a multi-functional eco-classroom on the site to help create a fresh approach to education and training that the zoo incorporates.

Christmas Tree 1

Bring the fun indoors

There are some things in January we just don’t want to see. Opening the curtains to discover the heavens have opened is one of them. It’s hard to think of ways to keep the family entertained during wet weekends but all it needs is a little creativity and inventiveness.

Hosting sleepovers and film nights are great ways to spend time with friends and family whilst keeping warm and dry inside. You can set up sleeping bags in your treehouse if you have one, or you can build a good old-fashioned den in the house by draping blankets over the backs of chairs. All it takes is a little inventiveness to keep you and the kids entertained. You can play games, take part in activities such as treasure hunts and cook a storm in the kitchen by baking some treats.

If you’re an artistic type, why not join the children doing some colouring. Adult colouring books are one of the latest crazes and we are especially fond of the Enchanted Forest book available at all good bookstores and online retailers.

christmas-cookies-553457-large

Let the partying continue into January

The mulled wine may have run dry but the festivities don’t have to end at New Year. January sees the annual celebration of Burns Night which is held in honour of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The event was originally started in Scotland by Burns’ close friends after his death, but more than 200 year on his life is celebrated across the world.

We’ve been working on a fantastic project in Scotland over the last few months, so in honour of our friends at Dalkeith Country Park, we think it’s a great idea to throw a Burns Night supper. Guests usually celebrate Burns’ life with a series of readings and recitals of his works, including his most famous sing-a-long Auld Lang Syne. A hearty feast follows and usually includes traditional Scottish delicacies such as cock-a-leekie soup, haggis with neeps and tatties and Typsy Laird.

Haggis,neeps and tatties