Finding your focus.
It's the second week of January. All the mince pies are gone, the decorations are down and the big clean up has commenced. We're tired of talking about new years resolutions and all we want to do is crawl back under the duvet. Sound familiar?
As someone who struggles with SAD, I know just how tough it can be to feel awake and wanting to get going whilst we are waiting for spring. So I thought I'd share my tips and feelings with you on how to keep going through January/February.
Firstly I remember all the lovely things I've done over the past year, flicking through my Instagram gallery helps with this. Scrolling through the seasons, remembering those trips away, the lunch in that pub. Then I make a mental note (or jot it down). I do this so that I can make some plans for the new year. Already I've booked a trip to RHS Malvern spring show and we're going to see a play at the theatre, some things to look forward to.
I also meditate, now I don't sit with my legs crossed, finger and thumb murmuring hum. Instead I sit very still and reflect on the way I'm feeling today, I usually do this when everyone has left the house and I've just finished breakfast. If I'm feeling a bit down and crap I concentrate on why that is. Sometimes it is down to something I may have going on, sometimes it's the winter months and sometimes I just haven't been very kind to myself. I work out which one it is, If it is the first thing I try and work out if there is a way to resolve it or just accept it for what it is and know that in the end, said thing will be done. If it's the second thing then I practice hygge (more on that in a bit).
But if it's the third thing then I know I need to take a different kind of action, I need to get outside! Sometimes we feel sluggish in the winter because we've forgotten to drink enough water and eat enough fresh raw fruit and vegetables, we're probably consuming vast amounts of tea and coffee and not much greenery. If I know this is the reason for my low mood I don't start into an obvious health kick, Lord no. I very gently make subtle changes to ease myself back into a healthier pace of life. I drink herbal teas, scroll through pinterest to find some new green recipes, I'm currently loving smashed avocado with chilli and garlic on sourdough toast. And I roll out the yoga mat and do some gentle yin yoga. Just these few things are enough to spur on getting back to normal and putting my energy levels right.
Now for that bit on Hygge! Hygge is the Scandinavian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment as quoted by wikipedia, but achieving it takes more than lighting a candle and having a cup of tea. I find the feeling of hygge needs the third part of what I've just explained, so the herbal tea, the kind food and gentle meditation and yoga, but it then requires what I call the finishing touches: comfort! A de-cluttered home and you can get those candles out now. Since winter drives us indoors we need to make our homes a pleasing place to be, we've got our bodies sorted now we need somewhere to get cozy. Making our home warm and comfortable to live in will, if paired with looking after ourselves, be the icing on the cake and give us that warm feeling of contentment, ah now isn't that nice!
Lastly, I have one more tip, try to limit your time on social media. I find it helpful to set a couple of times in the day to check my emails and Instagram (as that is where my business acc is), and not pick my phone up for anything else. It helps to put your phone where you can't see it, another room if possible and forget about it. Ok, so you have children at school or you're at work but come on, I'm talking about the times of the day when you really don't need it, you know when they are.
Hope you're feeling inspired. I'd love to hear your tips on getting through winter!