Beating the January blues

January 2024

Jodie joined WAY in summer 2022 and started volunteering as part of WAY’s Merseyside Area Contact Team in September 2023. She recently set up a mindful watercolour event for fellow WAY members to help beat the January blues…

Multiple watercolour painting from the event

When I was first widowed - apart from the obvious emotions of being angry and sad - I found the brain fog and not knowing how I was going to react in everyday situations to be frustratingly exhausting. Why did I have to have a meltdown because I couldn’t remember which colour bin the recycling went in, for example?

Being in the company of fellow widows at WAY events helped my confidence in everyday situations return (black bin is recycling on the Wirral in case you’re interested, folks!). Talking to others who had felt similar emotions and brain fog to me was hugely comforting. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by amazing family and friends, but at these WAY events, I found suddenly I was surrounded by people who “got it”. 

I’ve always been a bit of an organiser amongst my friends. Obviously I lost interest in doing that a bit when I was first widowed, but when the widow brain had subsided a little and that love of event organising came back to me, it felt natural to volunteer to organise some events locally. I wanted to help widows to meet with their peers and experience the reassurance and understanding that I had found so beneficial in my early days. 

Mindful moments

I’ve organised quite a few events locally, but only recently arranged a watercolour painting session for Blue Monday, after taking part in a taster session at the WAY AGM last September and realising how mindful it was, and also how seemingly forgiving the paint was to my limited paint skills. I’d decided to host it on Blue Monday (typically the third Monday in each January, which is deemed to be one of the most dreary days of the year) so those that might need it had a “pick me up” to look forward to after Christmas. 

To arrange the event, I had contacted a local watercolour artist, Janine, who agreed to do a taster session for us at a set price; I then found a local coffee shop that would let us use one of their tables for a few hours and there I had my watercolour painting session organised! 

Fellow attendees echoed my thoughts of it being a great mindful activity - some enjoying just being able to zone out and watch the paint change as it dried. The event has gone so well that I’m already busy organising my next event. After putting a little vote out to local members, pottery won so I’ve contacted a local pottery artist, who has agreed to run a session for us in future!

WAY members: Keep an eye out in the Events tab of the Members Hub for more details about this and other events organised by WAY members across the UK.

Donate Now

Your donations are always welcome.


Find support from WAY

When you join WAY you’ll have access to a community of other widowed people who understand what you are going through.

Members can access, a telephone support line offering counselling, legal and financial support, a subscription to our members magazine, specific groups to connect with others and helpful resources to help you understand your loss.

We are sorry you or a loved one needs to be here, but we all understand how difficult these times can be and we’re here for when you are ready.