AND just like that it is 2022. Never mind that most of us are yet to process the events from late 2019 onwards and 2021 already seems like a hazy fever dream.

At any moment, I expect to wake up, peer groggily at the screen of my mobile phone and discover it is March 2020.

So, what awaits in the next 12 months? Your guess is as good as mine. Bingo cards are primed. Anything short of an asteroid strike, a robot uprising or an angry Tyrannosaurus rex scrambling out of an erupting volcano will seem deathly dull by recent standards.

Worse still, we could all be ensconced in Mark Zuckerberg's "metaverse" by this time next year (in fact, we might already be living in the beta version, which would actually explain a lot).

Pandemic life has felt a bit like being trapped inside a snow globe. Every time it appears things are settling into some semblance of normality an unseen hand appears to shake it up and uncertainty swirls once again.

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I am a misery guts in early January at the best of times. After the twinkling lights, merriment and cosy warmth of the festive season, the coming weeks resemble a bleak and barren hinterland, akin to stumbling into the opening scenes of a post-apocalyptic movie.

Trudging through the grey sludge of January always puts me in mind of Viggo Mortensen in The Road as he wearily pushes his laden shopping trolley along deserted highways.

To counter the enervating vibe, I force myself to keep busy. This enthusiasm soon runs dry. Usually about the same time I have to put away the last of the Christmas decorations and reluctantly curb my charcuterie board habit to stave off looming gout.

It is no surprise that this time of year typically sees a huge surge in job searches as many folk seek pastures new. Ditto a spike of interest in new homes, gym memberships, diets and fancy kitchen gadgets. In short, it is merely self-flagellation disguised as self-improvement.

Hold that thought. Instead of spending January dramatically overhauling your life like the big makeover sequence in a 1990s romcom, view it as a chrysalis to allow your plans to gestate, ready to burst forth once you've had time to take stock and strategise.

Over the years, I have learned the hard way that no major decisions should be made between early January and Burns Night. Regret and ruin lie that way.

Rather, this is an interlude that should be viewed as a sorbet-style palate cleanser (or endured through gritted teeth depending on the depth of your existential crisis) where epic telly binges, good books, rigorous walks and idle daydreaming can provide much-needed balm for the soul.

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Which is my way of saying I plan to hunker down. All being well, next month I will emerge from my burrow with renewed zest.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald​