New Year is a often time when people make a grisly decision to use January to get healthy and get clean. Many decide to give up booze, or sugar, or chocolate in an attempt to feel better after all the excesses of Christmas. A time to become the you that you always wanted to be. Ready for a new year and a new chance to do your life right. In theory this sounds pretty fantastic, yet these decisions often court much misery for the decision maker for the whole of dreary January. Maybe it’s because these decisions are often made from a spirit of lack, as supposed to from a spirit of abundance, allowance and receiving.
Health and wellbeing are all about allowing yourself to align with feeling good, to release anything that is blocking your health and happiness. Except many of us see getting healthy as a sacrifice and a renunciation of many things pleasurable and fun. Which is why the intention with which you chose to be healthy is of upmost importance. The emotion behind the choice will be the predominant emotion you feel whilst undertaking your new year’s resolution, whatever it may be.
So if you decide to give up all booze in January but feel resentful and deprived because of it, you may actually still be having a toxic January due to the way you feel about the challenge you have set yourself. If you see it as a real sacrifice and semi unbearable, then that’s what it will feel like. If you see it as a gift to your body and spirit, as an opportunity to find joy and comfort in more nourishing, expansive ways, then it will be thus. The emotion behind the choice will be the breeze that helps navigate your journey and destination.
For many people January is prime midwinter which means short, cold days. And if you’re from the UK, it means short, cold, grey days. Hardly the most inspiring environment for embracing a new clean cut, you. I would suggest that instead you embrace the energy of Winter and use January to plant seeds of ideas for the ‘new you’, ready to be birthed in the Spring and Summer.
If you use the energies of the seasons, you may find that you can allow life to flow with much more ease and grace. You may not need to fight so hard for what you desire. I believe January to be a time of continued cosiness, feasting and nourishing merriment. Too many people get the January blues than is necessary, precisely because they have decided to deprive themselves of so many lovely, joyful experiences that could actually bring light into these long dark days.
Wellbeing is not all about giving up everything delicious and fun in life, it is about allowing yourself to live from a place of ease and balance. That can mean enjoying a glass or two of wine with a delicious meal. An Irish coffee by the fire. Tea and cake in a cosy cafe chatting away to a friend. It is all about how you approach these choices and whether you believe them to be nourishing you, or as something sinful and unhealthy. The emotion will, to some extent, influence the effect these choices have on your body.
Perhaps January should be a time of continued plenty, but from a place of intentional nourishment to the body and mind. Delicious food with friends, perhaps with a glass of fancy, quality (not quantity) wine. Gentle exercise to keep you moving but nothing strenuous or depleting. Permission to continue to relax and allow the body to fully slow down and rest, as it naturally wants to do during the colder months. I say goodbye to punishing regimes and hello to allowing wellbeing to wash through and restore you in the most gentle of ways.
Then maybe you can think about a more focused health plan for the Spring and Summer when energy levels are higher and more expansive. I say put your feet up and enjoy the stillness of Winter with a nice cup of tea/coffee/wine/cake/whiskey/water or whatever! It doesn’t matter. As long as you chose to enjoy it fully.