5 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself in January…
When is it acceptable to stop saying Happy New Year? I feel like I have been saying it a lot recently in fear of missing someone. And so, let me say it to you all one more time, Happy New Year to you – I hope you have started the year on a positive note. Talking of the new year, I don’t know about you but I always feel like January is a month where we should look after ourselves, take time out and enjoy life at a slower pace. Amid the madness, the craziness and the chaos of December and Christmas there is a desire to unwind. Getting back into a routine of work, school and after school clubs has already taken it out of me. What I enjoy most about a weekend at this time of the year is taking things a little slower, not feeling guilty for cancelling plans or stripping back our weekends.
Over the years I have found that January is the month where I need to be kind to myself, I don’t really know what the difference between returning to work after a summer holiday or the Christmas break is but I do know that it seems so much harder. Whether it is the darkness of winter, the cold mornings or even because I can’t help but build the anticipation of a new year, it all just feels tough.
It is the perfect time to reflect, look after myself and those around me and to make subtle changes for the year ahead and lets not forget book a holiday! Yes to booking a holiday. We have two booked so far, and hopefully by the end of this week we’ll have a third locked in the diary. And so I thought I would share a few things which I do as the year breaks, simple things really but ones which seem to make all the difference to the way I feel – whether it is changing my attitude or behaviour they have such a positive impact that I stand by them. January really is a month for looking after yourself.
Enjoy a slow start
A morning of drinking tea in bed and reading a book. The older I get the more I appreciate staying home and doing nothing. I try to take this time out when I don’t feel like I am missing out on one of our little family adventures. I am lucky that on a Saturday morning George and Mr H set off early to attend drumming class and if I do feel like I need some time to myself this is when I do it. I don’t feel guilty as the boys are off having fun together, it is the guilt which often holds me back if truth be told. Wrapped up in cosy blankets reading a book – in a cocoon of cosiness is the perfect way to soothe the soul.
Create media blackout days (or an hour)…
This is something which Mr H has made me promise to do more of in 2018. I don’t mind – I think putting my phone to one side for an evening is a great plan. And whilst I don’t disagree with him I know this will be tough for me, I find it hard putting my phone down. It sounds so simple doesn’t it – switching off from social media or checking emails. Focusing on the here and now – which when I do, like yesterday I am left feeling calm and full of life. I can be extremely guilty of constantly check my emails, getting drawn into work and falling into an Instagram or Pinterest whole for an hour at a time. It really isn’t healthy but in all honesty I just love Instagram, I really enjoy peering into other peoples lives, I’m the first to admit that I am just a little nosey. Already this year I have removed my work emails from my mobile phone which has meant that I have truly switched off on a weekend, baby steps but it means that I have been more present and we’re only 8 days into the year.
Get some fresh air together as a family…
Surround yourself with those you love. When all else fails, head out for some fresh air – blow away the cobwebs and clear your mind. If something is troubling me on occasion I can wallow in self pity, lose myself in deep, negative thoughts and often it affects my mood so much so that I become a person I don’t like. It has to be something big like the fire we experienced on Christmas Day or my childhood with my parents. Something that hurts. Mostly I look for the good, I’m known for being quite a positive person but the big stuff can have a real impact on my mood and mental state which I am still learning to overcome. Over the years I have learnt to move on by escaping to my happy place which most often than not is a walk around Trentham Gardens or alike with my boys, especially on a bright winters day – jumping in muddy puddles, building a den or kicking a ball. You can’t help but feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders when you stomp around such beautiful scenery, a hot chocolate in one hand and my 6 year olds in the other. With Mr H near by.
Take time for yourself, each other or a friend…
I am grouping this together as really I think it depends just on who you are. Me personally – I enjoy my own time whereas Mr H enjoys time with his friends and we both enjoy taking time out together to remember that our relationship came first, before we came parents we existed – just us. Just to remind ourselves that on occasion it is ok to be selfish and put our relationship first. No matter what your circumstances are I really do feel that it is so important to take some time out for you. I try to take some time weekly or if I am really lucky stealing a few minutes each day. For me this could be as simple as taking a bath without interruption – can you imagine? Some days I need to clear my head and often head out at lunchtime for a walk, or an evening to walk our furry baby or even picking up some flowers from the market helps. You know, it can often be the little things which have the biggest impact. There is no shame in needing some time for yourself or grabbing that coffee with a friend – be kind to you.
Let it go and have a deep cleanse…
And when possible sing the song out loud for all to hear. In all seriousness this is something I have promised myself that I will do more of in 2018. Last year I found myself being too affected by those which invaded my space and if only I had closed the door I may not have lost hours and days feeling so hurt. I need to choose my battles, whether it be ones as a parent, the boss in the office, friends who just don’t understand this online space I have created or even when the haters hate on my blog. I need to stop sweating the little things and focus on what I can control. Letting go of anything that doesn’t have a positive impact – whether it is a friendship, a habit, a feeling, those toxic people which bring you down as soon as they step into the room or hit a social circle. I think it is really important to replace bad habits with good habits, anything bad ultimately becomes destructive. Let it go.
Exercise and take vitamins. I wholeheartedly recommend a small amount of daily exercise and a spoonful of Metatone Tonic. This is such a big one for me and one I failed miserably on towards the end of the year. Until September I exercised weekly, almost daily – I ate relatively healthily and I felt good for it. I was more positive, I had more energy and I enjoyed how my body looked and felt in my clothes. I took a weekly class at 6am to focus on my strength and weights, joined in with the Joe Wicks You Tube HIIT videos at home and walked quite a bit too. I only drank on special occasions and cut out as much sugar as possible – I swapped my tea with two sugars for coffee in the morning and nettle tea in the afternoon. I miss how I felt, mentally and physically. For me this is one of the biggest changes I am making and it started today, January 8th – well I couldn’t start it any earlier as it was my birthday a few days ago!
And that’s my 5 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself in January… Do you have any ideas to add to the list? I’m all for making subtle changes to help with a better state of mind and well being.
Oh my goodness KA what a fab post, I completely agree with you I try and ease myself into it in January and be kind to myself! Everything you wrote here completely hit a spot thank you xx
Thanks so much love, that’s so nice of you to say! I think that’s the right approach in January x
I agree with everything here. It’s so important to slow down and relax more and enjoy life more now. December is hectic and I think we all need self-care during these months ahead. Great post 🙂 xx
So glad to hear that I think we’re too quick to rush about and not look after ourselves for sure x
Such a brilliant list, all I whole heartily agree with.
The thing I reminded myself about the most about 2 months ago was we are important. To be good parents, friends, partners we need to be looked after, so I am trying to do that as much as possible, if only for half hour each day.
Alone time is so important, I really don’t get much so I am going to try and get some more.
Thanks for this post, so very helpful, here is to an excellent 2018 for you my lovely xx
Thanks so much love, little bits of self-care are really important aren’t they. Even if just for 30 mins or my nail appointment it’s nice to be free of everyone else thoughts for just 30 mins x
I’m definitely not a morning person and love nothing more than lazy duvet mornings!! And I agree with you about getting out and about for some fresh air and making time for family and friends. I find January pretty dark and gloomy so I need to make an extra effort at this time of year and these tips are spot on!
I think that’s how I feel about January, its a bit dark and gloomy which always has an effect on my mood. I am generally a morning person but on a weekend its nice to have a slow start x
I loved this post! I’m trying to be nicer to myself this year as I had a few hectic weeks just before my Christmas break… I try to limit my nights out during the week with my friends and I started exercising again. I’ve struggled last November/December to keep a healthy routine. Your post is a lovely reminder to take care of ourselves, I really enjoyed it. I also love your photography style! x
Thanks so much. I think its so important to adopt some self-care. I think you’re doing the right thing by reducing nights out in the week – I’ve struggled with being healthy too. x
It sounds as though you’ve really spent time thinking about how to make positive changes to your life KA and I wholeheartedly agree with all of your headings. They are all things close to my heart too. I look after social media for a few other companies so with that in mind it’s difficult to completely switch off from social media but putting the phone down for a few hours is definitely a positive step. I can also wallow if I’m not careful, overthinking is a killer! Have a wonderful 2018 and I hope you get your home back to the way it should be really soon. Gorgeous pics by the way! xx
I try to have some reflection as the year closes and with what happened on Christmas day I really felt like self-care was needed. x
I think it’s important to be kind to yourself all year round 🙂 Completely agree with getting out in the fresh air for a walk and also putting the phone/computer away for an evening – it makes such a difference. Happy new year lovely x
You’re so right Chloe – really important x
A big fat yes to all of these KA! The main one I need to work on personally is exercise. My ballet fit class has changed days and clashes with swim training, so my one form of weekly exercise has gone. I really need to do some mini HIIT workouts at home and dust off my running trainers and do couch to 5k again. January is such a busy month for our family and I feel like I’m on top of a lot at the moment but I think the pressure of exercise would tip me over the edge right now! Once this month is out of the way I’ll be easing my way back to fitness – make sure you hold me to that!! xx
Yay I am glad you like it lovely. I think the exercise is a big one when routine changes. I’m really looking forward to getting back into classes as of tomorrow. I shall remind you lovely x