I don't know whether it's down to the usual January post-Christmas blues or a reaction to the latest lockdown and all the restrictions it has brought our way, but this last week I have just wanted to curl up into a ball and spend my time snoozing under a duvet.
Wouldn't that be a lovely way to make it through these next few, freezing cold weeks, to just snuggle down in bed and, when it's time to wake up again, to emerge into a lovely, sun-filled summery day, with all thoughts of Covid 19 in the deep and distant past.
Sadly, thanks to the demands of work and homeschooling three children, the chances of even having a lie-in, never mind hibernating for months on end, are few and far between. So, I've decided that the best way to chase the blues away is to get up before anyone else surfaces in our house and go for a bit of a march about outside.
Nature, for me, has always proved to be a great cure-all.
This last week, I've been setting my alarm, dragging my sorry carcass into an upright position, throwing on something other than the pyjamas I've been living in since this latest lockdown began and going out for a walk, or occasionally a slip, given the recent icy weather, on the roads around my home.
I began the week listening to stirring dance music as I plodded about but midweek, I switched to listening to some audio books of old horror and ghost stories that I came across. When travelling along a dark, country road, on a misty, freezing morning, I find the scary stories not only serve as a brilliant distraction from the monotony of walking the same routes at a time when we're not allowed to travel far from home, but they also keep me moving faster than any dance track, as my overactive imagination begins to wonder why the bush ahead is moving or what that dark shadow in the field beside me might be.
On the second morning of listening to the audio books, and still feeling a little spooked, I decided to bring my dog with me, though the reluctant look she gave me led me to think that she too would rather be hibernating in the heat of the house than walking the wintry roads. She's never been keen on venturing out in anything but the loveliest weather.
There've been many mornings when we've had a stand-off at the back door, with it wide open, both of us looking out on the rain, with me trying to order her out for a toilet visit in the garden and her giving me a look that says, 'If you like it so much, you go out in it!'
I swear, she's been huffing with me on our morning walks, refusing to look up at me when I try to talk to her, disappearing without so much as a backward glance when we get back into the house, running into the living room, onto her favourite seat and shoving her head under a cushion. It's like I have a third teenager in the house.
Then again, having caught sight of myself in the mirror this morning before I went out, maybe my visage is having the same effect on her as the scary stories are having on me.
I've been scrapping my now grey striped hair, thanks to not seeing my hairdresser since August due to lockdown and bad planning on my part, into a messy bun on the top of my head and at that time in the morning my face hasn't quite fallen into its proper place. My eyes are still puffy and hard to open and I have sleep lines so deep they look less like wrinkles and more like ravines. Quite often it's lunchtime before those bad boys disappear!
But as hard as it is to get up and go, and as worried as I am that I might actually terrify some poor passer-by one of these mornings while looking for all the world like an aged gorgon, my early morning forays into the outside world work.
I feel brighter and lighter of spirit. If you're also feeling the burn of the January blues, I highly recommend it.