I've been thinking,  Wellness

Slow January

I’m voting for slow January. Hibernation, even. Anyone with me?

It’s 6 January and the only actually useful thing I’ve done is take down the decorations and file my tax return.

January should be a slow month, so I’m taking the chance to start the year in planning mode, with a healthy sprinkle of decluttering. I blame Emily Ley of Simplified. She’s all about the ruthless declutter. And after all the festivities, cleaning out cupboards is about all I can manage.

This month I’m taking my lead from nature. The plants in my garden have the right idea. They spent a good chunk of the winter fast asleep building up the energy to produce their flowers in spring and summer. Plants have a lot to teach us, I think. We’re not designed to function at the same speed all year round. We need rest. Regular. Meaningful. Rest. Hibernation, even.

So I’m taking January slow. And here’s how.

1 BE RESTED

No-one can be expected to go from neutral (Christmas holidays) to 5th gear in a few days. So keep your head down. Move through the gears slowly. Enjoy a long candlelit evenings at home. Put your feet up. Take a nap in the afternoon – naps are officially good for your brain. Snore if necessary. And then get to bed at a regular time – and see if you don’t wake up refreshed.

2 BE ALONE

This is me. It can be tricky to find the space your mind really needs. Sneak off to the corner coffee shop with a book and hide behind a large cappuccino. Head to the park for a blast of fresh air and thinking time. It’s Ok to make your excuses. No-one will mind. Whatever you enjoy, and your mind needs, do it.

3 BE MIND-FUL

By this, I mean – have your mind full of things that bring you joy. Read that book you had for Christmas. Listen to a podcast while you buzz around the kitchen. Subscribe to Audible and have someone read to you. Be gentle on your mind. Let it come back into action slowly and joyfully.

4 BE UNPLANNED

January is a bit of dichotomy. Part of me wants to plan, plan, plan. I come from a family of hyper-planners. But I know my “planned” year will go better if I mix in a healthy dose of spontaneity. So I plan to visit my local National Trust gardens, walk along the beach, and catch up on a bit of cinema. In an unplanned sort of way!

5 BE CONTENT

January can be a stressful month. Real life kicks in whether we like it or not. Early morning school runs, a groaning inbox, the office grind. How many times have I seen “New Year, New You” and it’s only been a week?

How about New Year, Same You. Just more rested. More joyful. Contented. Slower.

What are your tips for surviving January? I’d love to hear in the comments?

Judith xx

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