Welcome to winter in London, a time of mulled wine, self-doubt and being jealous of people on the other side of the world. A time when London is at its most picturesque with couples kissing by the Thames, the rubbish on the street covered up by snow and pretty Christmas lights distracting you from the crazy crowds on Oxford Street. But lets be honest, it’s cold you would prefer to be in bed.
How come homesickness, skint life and romantic movies have to hit at the same time of year? All you want to do this December is hibernate, watch Netflix and eat everything in sight…but life does not stop and let you take a break. Just like your life in London won’t get any better by staying in bed and hibernating…so how do you motivate yourself to get shit done?
Step 1: Emulate a Christmas Movie
Its not the mundane that is going to get you out of bed right now, only the magical can do that. And carrying out this step has the added bonus of being jealously inducing content for all your friends in New Zealand when you post about it on Facebook. It doesn’t matter if you want to run through Borough Market in your pants* like in Bridget Jones Diary, go all Love Actually and have a heart to heart on ‘that bench’ on South Bank or even pretend that Buckingham Palace is home to the Starks and lay siege to Winterfell. Just get out there and find some god damn movie magic.
Step 2: Remember that your friends are feeling the same way
At this point in our blogging relationship I am going to define ‘friend’ as anything from your BFF that moved over from NZ with you to the random stranger that you met at a KIL drinks that happens to work near you; runawaykiwi.com is a judgement free zone**. Seriously everyone in London finds December busy, overwhelming, drunken and a little bit lonely – you can really call yourself a Londoner now. It’s just because you are so far away from home, it is tough. So stop thinking about how hard your life is for a second and remember your friends, surprise them with a cosy afternoon in a pub or take them to see the Covent Garden Christmas decorations. A) It will force you to get out of the house B) you are doing something nice for someone else and C) it will remind you that you do have a network in London, a community that could become something great if you put the time in.
Step 3: Drink, and don’t feel bad about it
Work Christmas parties are a big deal in London, and by and large they are very drunken affairs. I put this mostly down to the fact that with the Tube no-one has to worry about drunk driving and also because it is damn cold in December and alcohol warms you up. Don’t feel bad about the units or the calories, just have some fun! You need the nights of fun to get you through the grey days ahead.
Step 4: Buy a Christmas Jumper
Ok so the Christmas jumper thing is actually all based around a charity but there are some unexpected benefits. Spending all Saturday in bed eating chocolate and watching movies = depressing. Spending all Saturday in bed eating chocolate and watching movies WHILE WEARING A CHRISTMAS JUMPER = getting into the holiday spirit. Besides who can really be unmotivated while wearing an antler wearing sequined cat on their jumper.
Step 5: Get dressed up
Get up, dress up, show up and never give up. Seriously kid, if buying that new jacket or weird furry pompom hat gives you the confidence to leave the house and cause some trouble then do it. If buying a killer dress gives you the confidence to tackle the work Christmas party when you don’t really know anyone then hells yes you should do it. Bonus points if it is only practical for one month of the year.
Step 6: Don’t underestimate the cold
Yes you look as cool as Cara D in that flimsy scarf and hat combo, but Winter is Coming and you will get your energy sapped by the cold. Figure out the tube journeys that involve the least amount of walking outside, the cafes with the best heating and by all that is holy remember your gloves!
Step 7: Tweet @Runawaykiwi
If you are really desperate tweet me and I will tell you that you are brave and awesome for making the move to London, but that if you want to enjoy it in the slightest you have to stop hibernating and make shit happen for yourself. Ok so that may be over the 140 charter limit, so I may shorten it and include more swearwords but you get the gist. You are not alone, and it will be ok.
*UK definition of pants, not Kiwi
** unless you drink at Starbucks in which case you can fuck right off.