How do you feel about January? Do you feel down during the cold dark nights and rainy days? Or are you among the smaller percentage of the British population who relish in the whole hyggeliscious that is the winter months?
Personally I adore January almost as much as Christmas. Having two children and working in the holistic industry it is such a joy to me to look at my January calendar and see how empty it is!
After the craziness that was December, the busy days, endless shopping, to do lists and hours scrolling the internet for that perfect present etc etc, to have a whole month ahead of me with no plans that is just free to do anything myself and my family choose to do. Its my thinking and planning time, my time to gain a bit of perspective, rediscover my loves and go inwards.
My question to you is, why do so many of us dislike the winter months, more so those after the festive season? There is of course SAD, which I do not deny a great deal of people suffer with, but is it only this or is it that in today's world, where the busier we are the more brownie points we give ourselves, we are also simply going against nature and denying our minds and bodies what we need?
Come January we make our resolutions and from the 1st day we begin restricting ourselves to a regime with little or no flexibility. We put ourselves on a no carb diet at the time our body will most crave wholesome foods. Commit to hour long runs in the winter rain or gym sessions straight after work, when all we really want to is come home to a warm home and relax, so is it any wonder we begin to feel miserable? Other animals are still hibernating so why, when it is the most natural thing to do are we working against this?
I am not suggesting we throw in the towel, be completely lazy and live on junk food, only that we begin to tailor our new year regime to what our body and heart needs most, be kind to ourselves. If after a long day at work we do not feel like heading out into the cold for a run, then should we not allow ourselves something else, perhaps a 10 minute kettle bell at home workout followed by a slow yin styled yoga session, and rather than a cold chicken salad, feed our bodies goodness through a homemade tomato based stew, just bursting with flavour and nutrition.
Here is a few suggestions that have helped me and i hope will maybe help you too begin to enjoy January and view the first month of the year in a new light.
Embrace all things hygge, soft cosy blankets, Eco wick candles, chocolate and anything else that makes you feel snug. Share a bowl of homemade popcorn or follow a winter walk with some slow cooker hot chocolate.
Allow yourself to eat and sleep a little, its natural to need this when the weather is harsh and the nights are long, its not being week or lazy, its simply allowing yourself to recuperate after the busiest, most stressful time of year.
Crystals that may help with negative feelings during the winter are, clear quartz to aid clarity and optimism, citrine is used to boost energy and clear negativity and carnelian may help spark some creativity.
Aromatherapy is a great tool for helping to lift spirits, a blend of orange,cinnamon and ylang ylang is a fantastic mood booster or peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree to relieve cold symptoms. Add to a diffuser or a bath and let the scents work their magic.
Treat yourself to a hot stones massage to reduce muscle and joint pain, or practice a little self reflexology, concentrating on the tops of the toes and the pad of the big toe to promote the production of serotonin, the happy hormone!
Finally, but to me, the best helper when I'm feeling low of energy, practice yoga, nothing to strenuous if your not feeling it, maybe a few rounds of sunsalutation to get moving in the morning or some slow yin style poses to wind down at the end of the day.
Let me know your thoughts and feelings of January in the comments below, would love to hear your fave pick me ups.