When everything winds down at the beginning of January, it’s easy to feel a bit off-kilter. All of a sudden we’re confronted with the reality that the festive season and the preceding year are over. It can feel like a sharp return to reality when what we really need is to ease ourselves towards the newness of the coming year.
So, how do we restore the natural balance of our internal rhythm after such a jubilant and energetic month of festivities and merry-making?
While we may not have the answers, we do have a few ideas for unwinding yourself from any high-strung knots you may have found yourself tied up in this December.
Transition in place.
It’s okay to feel a bit, for lack of a better word, ‘meh’, after such a full-on few weeks. In fact, it’s almost expected. After riding the high of festivities for several weeks, January can feel a bit like splashing cold water on your face. And that’s okay! Cold water is refreshing.
What’s important is to allow yourself to acknowledge this shift; sit with the feeling, reflect on what you enjoyed in December, and allow that melancholy in so that you can let it go.
Allowing yourself a moment to transition from one feeling to the next will help you feel that much more grounded as you approach the newness of the coming year.
Getting some fresh air in your lungs by going for a walk works wonders for regulating our nervous systems. Even if it’s a simple 10-minute walk around the block. Try committing to going for a walk every (or at least almost every) day this month without any distractions. (Maybe even leave your phone at home!) Walk for the sake of walking. See what you notice, what you smell, who you see, how the clouds change from one day to the next…
Whether this commitment to a walk a day is solo, with your partner, kids, or your beloved pet, we can almost guarantee it will help ease you into the year with a sense of groundedness.
For the love of it.
One might use the word ‘full’ to describe the month of December. Schedules, gatherings, tablescapes, décor, homes, refrigerators… And while we hold this fullness close to our hearts, it’s easy to get swept away by the obligation behind much of it.
So, why not try something out simply for the love of it? Perhaps it’s a new recipe; not a crowd-pleaser, not a ‘tried and true’, but simply an inspiring recipe you’ve had bookmarked for ages. Maybe it’s getting back to that book on your nightstand; the one you thought you’d finish but simply didn’t have the bandwidth to do so during the festive season. Or if you’re feeling so inspired, maybe it’s an entirely new activity!
In any case, try carving out time this month for something simply for the love of it.
Phone a friend.
Maybe half the battle of transitioning into the New Year is realizing that we’re not alone. We’ve heard it before, but it remains as true as always: we’re in this together. We’re all just as excited and confused as the next person to see and experience what’s around January’s corner.
Just because we’re not gathering en masse as we were in December, doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still make time for each other. Calling up a loved one to chat for a few minutes about what you’re each excited about, worrying over, or amused by is a beautiful way to remember to connect with people that decorate our lives with love and support.
Texts are great, but a good old-fashioned phone call brings a special kind of comfort.
After a month of rushing around, it’s easy to lose sight of a full night’s sleep. Prioritizing rest for the month of January will be a welcomed reset for your body and mind.
If you struggle – like many of us do – to get a good night’s sleep, we recommend having a look at our guide to a good night’s sleep. It’s full of evening rituals that may help you create a healthy bedtime routine so that you rest and reset.
Words, words, words.
This one is simple but powerful: Find a word to align yourself with this year. Take some time throughout the month of January to consider what exactly you’re hoping to experience this year and jot down any words that come to mind. For example, they could be words like compassion, trust, curiosity, discipline, courage, etc.
Once you have a few words written down, have a look over them and see which one resonates the most. Then, use this as your anchor for the following year. It’s a wonderful way to keep you on your own personal track with all kinds of goals, challenges, decisions, and transitions. If you find yourself feeling a bit lost, remember the word you’ve chosen to hold onto and reflect on how to align yourself with it again.
At the end of the year, it’s a really fun exercise to circle back to! How did this word inform or support you throughout the year? Did that word change? Did it help keep you grounded?
Again, it’s simple but powerful. (And as Margaret Atwood might say, “A word after a word after a word is power”.)
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