It's January. Can you believe it? I know many of us have just made it through the gauntlet of holiday gatherings, frenzied shopping experiences and an excess of food (and maybe drinks!). And after all of that excess we are faced with the New Year - a time when we feel a pull toward goal setting, making changes and starting fresh. We are going to go to the gym! We are going to eat salads! We are finally going to clean out that closet!
But what I've been noticing in myself and hearing from friends is that we actually need rest. We may not be black bears, but does looking at that photo of the bear taking a nap inspire some longing? Would you like to put on your cozy sweats and take a nap? Instead of trying to fight the urge to be still and comforted, I want to encourage you to honor that urge as wise. You may need more restoration time than you are used to giving yourself - and that is ok.
In Mindful Self-Compassion we talk about looking for the "Ahhhhhh". Go ahead, make that noise - a big, contented sigh. Maybe do it a couple of times. And now that you are feeling a little more relaxed, reflect on what you want right now, or tonight, or this weekend. What would give you that contented feeling of "Ahhhhhhh" - would it be cleaning out the closet, or taking a walk, or cuddling up with a book? It could be any of those things - or a million others - but I want to encourage you to honor what comes up. If it's watching a movie in your sweatpants, great! Maybe you need some hibernation. See if you can make a little more room for being, instead of doing. We've got a great big year ahead of us, and I'd love to see us all make room for ourselves and our needs in this year.
Here's to a rested and content 2015!
I'm a mindfulness based psychotherapist in Seattle.