Hello and welcome to January: month 1 of 12 for 2021! After the year that we have had, some of us have been looking forward to the new year with hopes for a fresh start, a new beginning (peace out 2020!); while others have been apprehensive (understandably so) and wondering if 2021 is going to be an extension of 2020.
For many, the greeting of a new year would have traditionally involved celebrations with family, friends, and/or loved ones. However, this New Year’s, like the entire holiday season that preceded it, was quite different from previous years. From having any chance of holding (even small) family gatherings shattered due to the province wide lockdown, to having to think about work / school arrangements during the holiday season because students would be starting the new year with distance learning; closing out 2020 on this note was not the most optimistic way to welcome in 2021.
Fast-forward to today, and the start of 2021 has brought us darker and colder days and the announcement of Ontario’s second state of emergency coupled with stay at home orders, which included the continuation of distance learning for many Southern Ontario families. On top of everything else happening, these things can have a huge impact on the mental health and general wellbeing of parents — something I take VERY seriously. So, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking care of yourself during this time.
As someone who historically experienced the winter blues, and who is just as much present for this global pandemic as the next person, I have definitely had days where I have felt the effects of this pandemic harder than others. On those days, I reprioritize my tasks because let’s be frank, without my health, NONE of it matters. I release any extra responsibilities, anything that doesn’t need to be addressed on that day and in that moment. I release all the “shoulds, coulds, and woulds”. I release any judgement, guilt, and comparison that may arise. I forgive myself for being human and show myself kindness, extend myself grace, and exercise self compassion. I turn inward and tune into my needs and take care of them accordingly. Please understand, I appreciate that life has not stopped, we ALL have things to do, deadlines to meet, etc., but let me tell you, from personal experience, if we are not healthy and well enough to be present to execute said tasks, then what is the point? How important will they be then?
With that being said, January, is typically the month of new beginnings and fresh starts. The month where many resolve to do better; work out, eat healthier, spend less money, etc. However, given everything that we have been navigating, you may or may not be feeling to celebrate or even think about making a resolution for the new year; and that is 100% OKAY!
If you’re feeling fatigued by the events of the past several months and just life in general, I invite you to consider the following:
Please don’t feel pressure to adhere to the “new year, new you” concept. If you truly want to make a change, start today, start small, and meet yourself where you are right now. If you want to make a change but are not in the space to do so, then don’t. Honour yourself. I have created a post on Instagram about this — feel free to visit the post here for some prompts to consider.
If you are in the space to make resolutions, but are unsure how to start, consider setting an intention instead. Psychology Today best explained the difference between an intention and a resolution. An intention is a positive call to action about something you want to do, rather than something you don’t want to do but feel that you “should” do, aka a resolution. Take a moment to think about what you desire to experience more of in your life. Maybe this year your intention is to become more intune with yourself, create rituals and practices that enable you to nourish yourself on a deeper level, being more mindful, cultivating inner peace, moving your body intentionally, finding more time for joy, being more present, etc. For more information about intention setting, click here.
Finally, no matter where you are along your journey, be gentle with yourself. Always remember to breathe and exercise self-compassion. Give yourself the love that you are deserving of. Feed your body, mind, and soul with wholesome nourishment.
Stay safe, sane, warm, and be well Mamas.
Nicki Reid, Bilingual BA
Certified Transformational Coach | Certified Essential Oil Specialist | Certified ARōMATOUCH Practitioner | 200 YTT , Wholesome Mind Health Coaching