January started off with a bang, literally. Fireworks exploded. Champagne corks popped. The ball dropped in Times Square to the sounds of cheers, noise makers, and Auld Lang Syne. After celebrating the holiday season and starting a new year, we then embarked on what may feel like the longest, slowest, and dreariest month of the year.
This year, more than ever, I have heard people say that they feel kind of meh about 2023 so far. Professionally, I have had a busy start to the year, with the launch of my podcast, Elev8 Your Life with Kristi, continuing to grow Elev8 Life Coaching, and developing a micro course to offer later this year. Personally, being a wife, keeping up with our big, blended family, and recommitting my time and energy to improving my own health and well-being also has kept me on my toes. Still, even with all of these positive things happening and having people I love dearly in my life, I, too, have felt like the ho-ho of the holidays quickly gave way to the ho-hum of the January.
When I noticed this ho-hum feeling was lingering, as the month progressed, I got curious about this underlying feeling that I should be doing something more or feeling more excited about the new year. As I traded judgement for curiosity, I began to realize and accept that how I felt was not only okay, but it’s in season.
Think about it, winter is a time for hibernation and dormancy for many species of animals and plants. This is the season to rest, plan, and prepare for the longer days that spring will usher in and that summer will amp up. We may have turned the page on the 2022 calendar to welcome 2023, but that doesn’t change the fact that we still are in the midst of winter.
This may be a period of downtime, but that doesn’t mean that we have to let us keep us down for the count. There are ways that we can go from feeling ho-hum to feeling like our lives are once again humming along during this winter season:
- Slow down whenever, and wherever, you can. Give your body and mind a break, and allow yourself the space to simply do nothing. When the sun goes down, use this as a cue to wind down. Put on some comfy clothes. Soak in a warm bathtub. Lose yourself in a great book. Listen to soothing, calming music. Eat dinner by candlelight. Go to bed early.
- Create a cozy place to hibernate. If you find yourself feeling trapped indoors these days, look for ways to brighten up your home and office. Declutter. Add plants or flowers. Use essential oils or scented candles. Buy some cozy blankets and pillows. Display pictures and art work that inspires you or makes you smile. Rearrange the furniture.
- Enjoy what winter has to offer. There are certain activities and things associated with, or available only during, winter, so, take advantage of them while you can. Curl up in front of a fire. Play in the snow. Participate in winter sports/activities, like ice skating, sledding, or skiing. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. Sip hot chocolate.
- Follow the sun. Take a tip from my cats, who move from room-to-room throughout our home, as they seek out the sun that shines through our windows. Apply some sunscreen, bundle up, and head outdoors when the sun does make an appearance, and expose yourself to natural light when you are indoors. Some people also find it beneficial to use light therapy, in the form of a light box or sun lamp.
- Make plans for the spring. Daydream and envision what you really want to do when winter ends. Would you like to plant a garden? Take a trip? Go on a bike tour? Enroll in a class? Relocate? The possibilities are endless, so, let yourself dream as big as you want.
- Prepare for springtime projects. Take advantage of this slower paced season to gear up for the next one. After you take some time to map out your plans, start to prepare for your springtime projects now. Gather the necessary information and resources you will need to execute your plan and complete your project, and set aside any money you will need to invest in your projects.
- Contact your healthcare provider, if needed. If you deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression, wintertime can be challenging. Please, reach out to your healthcare provider for support and to explore the appropriate treatment for your specific needs.
If you still feel ho-hum, or this new year hasn’t quite gotten off to the start that you had hoped for, join me for the next podcast episode, One Thing Today that Will Make Tomorrow Better, that will be out this Tuesday, January 31. It’s not too late to turn this month around, but if you need to rest first, take as much time as you need to do so. There’s no hurry. Tis the winter season.
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