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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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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