FEELING the misery of the post-New Year slump? After the excesses of Christmas and New Year, it can be hard to feel motivated again. Here are 10 things that could inspire you to get you off the sofa as 2018 gets into gear

1 Have a spa break

Times have changed at the Crieff Hydro Spa, thank goodness.

If you had booked in 140 years ago, they would have plunged you into a bath of freezing spring water, then hooked you up to a dubious collection of “wellbeing machinery.” Now it’s much more pleasant, of course, with a delightful pool (adults only at all times); a sauna and a steam room. There are all kinds of spa treatments on offer, designed to reinvigorate your mind and body after a gruelling festive season. Find the perfect post-festive detox package now….

Check the website (www.crieffhydro.com) or call 01764 651609

2 Volunteer for a good cause

Volunteering is good for you. As well as helping a charity or organisation stay afloat, there are all kinds of benefits from getting out there and supporting a cause close to your heart. It helps build confidence, introduces you to new people, develops your skills or allows you to learn new ones and even add qualifications to your CV. It nudges you out of your comfort zone, letting you try new, exciting and sometimes scary things – and above all, you go home at the end of the day knowing that you have made a positive difference to people’s lives.

Find out how to get involved at www.volunteerscotland.net

3 Get your trainers on

Taking up running can seem like a scary prospect, especially if you feel out of shape after a particularly gruelling festive season. But it’s so good for you. As well as improving the health of your heart and lungs it can help you lose weight and increase bone density, protecting against diseases like osteoporosis. The NHS’s lauded running programme Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks. It’s a running plan for absolute beginners, developed by Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fifty-something mum get off the couch and get fit.

It involves three runs a week and a different schedule for each of the nine weeks so it is entirely achievable. Find out more at www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k.aspx

4 Laugh more

Laughing is good for you, everyone knows that. It reduces stress hormones, boosts the immune system, regulates blood pressure …no-one ever felt worse after a hearty belly-laugh, did they? Exercise your smile muscles at The Glasgow Comedy Festival, which runs from March 8 to 25. Highlights include David Baddiel: My Family (Not the Sitcom) and Shappi Korshandi: Mistress and Misfit, both at the Citizens Theatre; Craig Hill – Someone’s Gonna Get Kilt! at Oran Mor; and Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert at the Pavilion. Find out more at www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com

5 Climb a hill

You don’t have to be a Munro-bagger or seasoned mountaineer to enjoy all that Scotland’s hills have to offer. What we really want at this time of year, if we’re honest, are fairly easy climbs, with spectacular views at the end.

Something like The Whangie, for example, at the Queens View in the Kilpatrick Hills, which is an odd, rocky climb that rewards those who make it to the top with wonderful views towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies. An alternative on the south side of Glasgow is Ballageich on the Eaglesham moors, close to Whitelee Windfarm. It doesn’t take long to reach the cairn at the top from the layby on the main road at the bottom and the result? Great views for very little effort.

6 Take up yoga

If the idea of sweating on a mat in an airless sports centre beside a bunch of strangers does not appeal, take up yoga the ecoYoga Scotland way. The company runs courses and retreats throughout the year, in a tranquil riverside setting in the Highlands, surrounded by some of the best scenery Scotland has to offer. When retreats are not running, you can stay on a self-catering basis and study yoga in depth, have a hot tub, eat delicious veggie food, have a sauna or enjoy the intriguing-sounding hot wild river baths. This is relaxing and rejuvenating in style – the glazed studio overlooking the gorge of the River Liever has beautiful views and there are several bathing areas and showers to choose from both inside the centre and in hideaway spots in the forest or on the river bank.

Discover more at www.ecoyoga.org

7 Get a pet

Children been pestering you for a dog? Always wanted a cat? Fancy rehoming a horse? The Scottish SPCA can help. Rescue pets make great pets and the charity has everything from dogs, cats and rabbits to exotic pets, birds and equines looking for loving new homes and owners. Discover more at www.scottishspca.org

8 Rejoice in music

Celebrate all that is excellent about Scotland’s talented young musicians when Glasgow Philharmonia Orchestra stages its Movies to Musicals Concert in February. The orchestra was set up by Ross Gunning when he was a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Music, to give 16 to 25-year-olds a chance to play alongside world class musicians in top venues.

It has since gone from strength to strength and its Movies to Musicals concert is a popular highlight of its calendar. This year’s performance, at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on February 23, will feature an all-star cast from London’s West End including Oliver Tompsett (We Will Rock You, Guys and Dolls, Rock of Ages, Wicked) and Sabrina Carter (Elphaba in Wicked), plus a 200-strong choir, more than 170 eight to 17-year-olds performing music from The Lion King and Bugsy Malone, and the 50-piece orchestra. Tickets cost from £20 – call 0141 353 8000 or visit www.glasgowconcerthalls.com to book.

9 Take the family to a rave

Yes, you heard correctly. The fantastic team behind Big Fish Little Fish has been running family raves in Scotland for 18 months, in venues ranging from a former church in Galashiels and the rolling hills of Belladrum to a Spiegeltent on the pier of North Berwick and Glasgow’s Drygate Brewery. The family raves include a multi-sensory dance floor with top DJs playing club classics and upfront dance music, plus bubble machines, club visuals and a giant parachute dance help to create the atmosphere of a real rave. All events offer a play and chillout area for babies, as well as a quality themed crafting area and there are usually pop up stalls and more too. World class DJs such as Alex Paterson (The Orb) and Eddy Temple-Morris, have performed at the events. Look out for Big Fish Little Fish at Glasgow Drygate on January 7 and March 25, The Assembly in Aberdeen on January 14, The Ironworks in Inverness on February 25 and La Belle Angele in Edinburgh on March 11. Visit www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk

10 Do something completely different..

Head for Aviemore for the Sled-Dog Rally (January 27-28); celebrate the Bard in style at the Big Burns Supper Festival at Whitesands, Dumfries (January 18-29); take a stroll along the banks and enjoy Perth Riverside Light Nights (January 27 to February 14); delight in the historic Shetland festival Up Helly Aa (January 30); or admire the mighty skills of masterbuilders as Brick to the Past recreate in LEGO the Jacobite Risings at Stirling Castle (until February 2). Scotland in 2018 is rich with possibility with lots of unusual events and activities to inspire and entertain….