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Slow January

There’s a lot of pressure at the start of the new year. Pressure to improve yourself. Pressure to do things differently or better. Pressure to start fresh. Pressure to hit the ground running. New Year, New You and all that . . . bullshit.

You know what? You don’t have to do any of that. You were lovely in December and you’re lovely now.

I propose, instead, that you follow the cycle of nature and the rhythm of the earth. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s cold and the days, while getting longer, are still dark. It’s the perfect time to rejuvenate. To recover and recuperate from the merriment of December. To stay close to the home fires. To dream and reflect and plan.

I’m not suggesting you hibernate (as tempting as that sounds at times), because truthfully those home fires feel a lot better if you’ve gotten outside and done (a little) something with your day. But I am suggesting that you take it slow. Ignore that pressure from society and social media.

Grant yourself permission to rest.

Happy January. Take it slow.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. All. Of. This! I did not always think this way… but then I read Katherine May’s Wintering and it was eye opening. I re-read it last month and I am very happy to welcome a slow January! XO

  2. I tried betting better, faster, improved, etc. back when I was working. Now decades later, my default may be slow and resting, maybe a little too much. But you’re right, the home fires feel so lovely and warm if you’ve gotten outdoors. I read it as “home fries” and I think they might also be better after a brisk walk!

  3. I gave up that improving oneself on an artificial schedule long ago. I noticed it didn’t work and then that was depressing. Instead, if something that needs changing impresses itself upon me, that’s the time to take notice and decide how it might change.

    Now, if Bonnie would please share her home fries, because that is definitely me. LOL

  4. What a wonderful post today! I agree about January, it’s a month of rest and reflection for me. I try to take off work the first week of January every year to refocus and refresh my body and my mind. Thank you for your post …. It was timely!

  5. Yes! I love this idea – time to reflect and rejuvenate is so important and often neglected.

  6. Oh yes! I got off the resolution bandwagon decades ago. Instead I like to start the New Year quietly and contemplatively. And then continue that throughout January and even into February. Reminds me too of a book in one of my bookcases: “Permission to Nap: Taking Time to Restore Your Spirit.”

  7. Such wonderful advice, Carole. It took me a while to disengage from conventional wisdom about this, but for the last decade, at least, I ignore all resolutions and “do better” advice from outsiders. I do take stock, decide if there are things I want to improve, and I then I do exactly as you advice, I plan. Living well requires reflection, and this is the time to do it! Thanks for reminding all of us.

  8. Yes, to all of this! There’s nothing magical that happens when the calendar switches over from December 31 to January 1. And frankly with the weather we have right now, it’s only smart to rest and rejuvenate (though I still go out in it, I’ll admit–but then I enjoy hot showers and hot cups of tea!).

  9. Last year, I went “gentle in January” and it was the best thing ever! I’m doing it again this year. We don’t need no stinkin’ resolutions! 😉

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