When a New Year has dawned, the parties are over and the Christmas tree has been dismantled, things can seem a little… meh.
Step forward January; a time to reassess the areas of your life that need a little freshening up. Getting out of the house and trying new things is the best way to rejuvenate your boring old routine.
Here are five ways to feed your mind, body and soul while reclaiming your mojo.
1. Sign up for a month of hot yoga
There are few activities that provide as many incredible benefits as Bikram yoga. Ideal for all levels, including complete beginners, you turn up (wear loose clothing and bring a big bottle of water), grab a mat and simply follow your teacher as they perform 26 postures and two breathing exercises in balmy, rainforest-temperature room.
The 40 degree heat allows the body to stretch easily and safely and increases sweating so the body can cleanse its largest organ – the skin. This helps to detoxify the internal organs and allows more oxygenated blood to move through the entire body. Raising your core temperature boosts your immune system, which will help you fight off winter colds and viruses and the movements ease tension and stress as well as muscle stiffness and soreness. The icing on the cake? Many hot yoga fans find they lose weight – each 90-minute session burns around 330 calories.
Oh; and you’ll sleep like a baby – a New Year’s resolution that appeals to everyone.
BOOK IT: Bikram Yoga Cork’s intro special includes unlimited yoga for 30 consecutive days for €49. If you’d like to try it out first, a drop-in class at the Tramore Road studio is €16.
Picture: Yoga top by Yoga Republic
2. Perfect your sushi skills
Healthy, tasty and great for serving at parties, sushi is deceptively easy to make once you learn the basics. The Sushi Made Simple course at Ballymaloe Cookery School will show you everything you need to know to get started. Added bonus? A lifetime of heart-healthy, immune-boosting meals in your repertoire.
BOOK IT: The Sushi Made Simple course is a half-day, 9:30am to 2pm (€135) at Ballymaloe in Shanagarry.
3. Learn how to arrange beautiful flowers
A magnificent bunch of flowers can elevate the mood, the room or an entire event. Nobody knows this better than floral guru Hanna Heubach of Hanako Floral Studio in West Cork. Hanna, a firm favourite in the weddings and events world, hosts regular classes for all levels, from beginners to expert, at her farm in Inchigeelagh, near Macroom.
From floral wreath making (make yours the fanciest front door in the neighbourhood at Christmas, Easter and Halloween) to crafting gorgeous hand-tied bouquets and oasis-free centerpieces, boutonnieres and flower crowns for weddings, the courses include all floral materials as well as a light lunch and plenty of tea and coffee.
All you need to bring is a pair of secateurs and a vessel to build your creation in.
4. Upcycle some old furniture
Giving a new lease of life to an ancient piece of furniture is not just a frugal way to decorate your home, it’s also a calming and relaxing New Year hobby that allows you to tune out of your usual frequency and work on something mindfully for a few hours.
At The Restore Shop in Midleton, you can join a small hands-on class that will teach you everything from paint distressing, decoupage and waxing to colour washing and stenciling. Their four-hour Chair Makeover workshop even covers some basic upholstery so you’ll leave with a fully restyled chair. All products, materials, help and advice are provided and price includes refreshments and a light lunch.
BOOK IT: Classes at The Restore Shop start at €70. Find out more about upcoming dates here.
5. Bake your own wedding cake
If you like to start your New Year with a challenge, this is one that could really pay off in the long run. Christine of La Spoon offers hands-on instruction and lessons to anyone keen to improve their baking skills and she’ll even guide you through the fraught process of creating your very own wedding cake.
These are skills that you can lean on forevermore – think of all the birthdays, anniversaries and parties you can bake for in the future!
BOOK IT: Baking lessons with Christine cost from €35 to €65 per person, depending on the subject and length. They can take place in your own home or in a city location.