A new year for Croydon, a new year for you

By - Tuesday 3rd January, 2017

How Croydonians can turn over a new leaf… realistically

The Chinese New Year for 2017 does not officially start until towards the end of January. The financial new year begins in April. Even the sales aren’t exclusive to January anymore. Yet we can still feel tremendous pressure to start everything afresh on 1st January.

Is it because January is associated with Roman mythology and Janus the two-faced god of new beginnings, deity of doors and gates, looking both forward and back? Perhaps following all the merriment and heavy indulgence of Christmas, 1st January just feels the right time to lighten the load and tighten our belts, physically and financially.

If there is a need to start anything new at all, why not choose your own time and not follow what is traditionally expected? Personally I always found it easier to start anything new in mid March… but I am biased as winter is not one of my favourite seasons of the year. As an early riser, waking up and returning home to darkness fails to thrill me. But enough of the doom and gloom, for in Croydon there is hope.

I’ve been looking the positives in what is immediately around me, and here’s what I came up with.

  • get hold of a copy of the useful newsletter you’ll find it all Croydon libraries, What’s On, or look for this online. It has listings of the latest news and events in your local library throughout the year. You may even discover a new hobby from this
  • a lot of us will be resolving to get more active, and Croydon’s council-run leisure centres offer a variety of activities at very reasonable prices, from swimming and activities for children to gentler pursuits like walking netball. It’s more realistic (and far cheaper!) than signing up to a year’s gym membership, going twice and then feeling guilty
  • why not start to enjoy walking instead of taking the car for local journeys? Then, if you catch the walking bug, there are free guided walks on offer around Croydon, or if you want to explore on your own, there’s plenty of choice. My own favorites are scenic Croham Hurst Woods and the invigorating walks available through Lloyd Park
  • why not learn a completely new sporting skill? It really is never too late: I learned to ride a bike (for the first time!) in the summer of 2015, with cyclinginstructor.com. It was so successful my sister joined too. It is an ongoing scheme that educates and teaches cycling if you live and or work in Croydon. It’s based at Croydon Arena where bicycles adapted for all abilities (and disabilities) are available through Wheels for Wellbeing

But whatever you do, try to break out of your well-established routines: even doing something as simple as trying a new place to eat can give you a new take on things.

Croydon’s a place of ever-expanding variety. Our possibilities are limitless. Just don’t be so hard on yourself as there are twelve months in the year and it doesn’t all have to be done right now. Self-improvement does not have to be a marathon, or any kind of race. New year, new you… this January, just do it.

Loren Dixon

Loren Dixon

Loren is a full time carer for an adult sibling who is autistic and is a member of a Autism Family/Parent Support Group in Croydon. She also volunteers for the South London Botanical Institute when she has time and has worked in the cultural & heritage sector. After a long spell of not painting and drawing she has returned to it by finding enjoyment in a new medium to her, botanical illustration.

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