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Five free ways to beat post-holiday blues

yellow courgCame back from the marvellous Mediterranean last night and woke up to rain. I put on my ‘given-up’ jeans, that comfy, baggy pair which are so unflattering, and slopped around Morrisons to refill the fridge. I only had euros in my purse so I went to the bank and – well, let’s not revisit that experience.

Any of this sounds familiar? I diagnosed myself with a full-blown case of post-holiday stress disorder. My prescription was a very strong cup of coffee at our local independent (not supporting those chains any more) and a positive think about the new season. Here's the result of my musing: five free cures for back to the grindstone blues!

1. See what the garden made while you were away
Despite zero rain in early summer, my courgette plants went nuts in August and created these monsters (see photo of my yellow giant). I’ll be cooking up a storm of pastas, bakes and cakes with them. I’m also looking forward to foraging for blackberries and eating autumn fruit and hot vegetables. I’m so sick of summer salad!

2. Have coffee with a friend
Part of the fun of a holiday is telling everyone back home about what you did. Organise a cuppa and a chat with your bestie or favourite relative (preferably at their house for maximum money-saving). Catch up on the gossip you missed and compare holiday stories.

3. Take a day off
The children are back at school soon which means there’ll be more time to do stuff. I’ve a list of tasks as long as my arm but, goddammit, I’m going to organise a day off in the first week of term. I will spend it drifting around the shops, reading or I might just lie in bed all day. A real treat.

4. Start a new project
It’s the start of the academic year and it’s a great time to embark on a new pursuit. It’s possible to get fit for free (running requires only old trainers, at least to start) or how about learning the language of your favourite holiday destination? There are many free language courses online. All members of Team Minted enjoy Spanish at free phone app and website Duolingo (warning, can get competitive!) and I found free lessons in 48 different languages at Open Culture. The BBC has some archived courses here if you have Javascript and Flash.

5. Have an end of summer BBQ
(Mercifully) it’s the end of burnt sausage season. Celebrate by pooling leftover charcoal with friends, grilling your garden produce and sharing all those mysterious local liqueurs you bought in a fit of enthusiasm at Duty Free.

Overspent on holiday? See our SMM guide to getting out of debt here.

 

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Thursday, 13 December 2018