January is a month filled with potential. Can you feel it? Our motivations are high and our accountability even higher. Maybe this is the month you’re finally going to clean out your closet. Or maybe you’re going gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free, you-name-it-free. Whatever your intentions, the New Year is an invitation to shed our old habits and break out some new ones.
If you’re perfectly content with your life, more power to ya! (And by the way, what’s your secret?) But I bet if you dig deep enough, you’ll find an area or two that could use some fine tuning. In this column, I’ll be sharing oodles of tips and tricks to help you start carving out more YOU space with more space for gratitude, a full night of zzz’s, radical self-love and mindful living.
We’ll explore ways you can take better care of yourself from head to toe and make your mental and emotional well-being a priority. If your new running shoes are collecting dust, or if you can’t remember the last time you indulged in some feel-good fiction/free time/fashion just for fun, then this column’s for you. So grab a cup of tea, curl up with your fuzziest blanket, and get ready to soak in some goodness!
As the cool days linger, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Now that the holiday frenzy is coming to a close, the couch is calling. Netflix marathons are second to none and the surplus of candy, cookies, cakes and confections is hard to resist. Like bears deep in hibernation, we wait for sunny days to call us out of our winter slumber.
If you’re feeling drained, disheveled or downright dreary, don’t worry. Coming down from the holiday high can make us feel a little imbalanced, and it can be tough to resume our regular routines with the same spirit and enthusiasm we only recently reserved for time off, travel and tinsel.
Here are some tips to help you restore your pre-winter energy levels and get back to the business of keeping things running smoothly, or as close to smoothly as possible!
- Take it slow. One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. No one (except perhaps your boss or your 2-year-old) expects you to be superwoman/man all day, every day. Resist the urge to be always on and take time to simply be. Take a guilt-free nap, meditate, lock yourself in the bathroom for 30 seconds and just BREATHE. The more you allow yourself to take time for you, the more likely you are to bring you’re A-game when it counts.
- Drink more water. Half your weight in ounces is a good rule of thumb. This all too overlooked elixir works wonders when it comes to maintaining healthy energy levels. Plus, it delivers a host of other benefits! Treat yourself to a nice water bottle or infuse your liquid magic with cucumber, mint or oranges.
- Get outside. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Science says getting outside for a walk can help you sleep better at night, and that’s not all. Being in nature also helps eliminate fatigue, reduce stress and improve focus. Who can say no to that?
- Call a friend. One of the best ways to lighten our loads is to share them. This doesn’t mean laying all your troubles bare at the checkout counter or venting about your in-laws every chance you get. But keeping all our worries and frustrations tucked away wreaks havoc on our bodies, minds and souls. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or trusted confidante after a particularly rough day, or splurge together on the latest rom-com or action flick to help take your mind off things. Whether you have an all-night gab fest or simply unload a few anxieties, you’ll feel instant relief at knowing that you’re not alone.
- Reevaluate your routine. As creatures of habit, our bodies (and minds) can get thrown way out of whack when we don’t give them the predictability they crave. Maintaining a consistent evening routine, sleep and wake time, and work schedule can help you stave off procrastination, get more done, reduce stress and increase relaxation. Even during the holidays, it’s good to keep to your regular rhythm as much as you can. But if the past few weeks have left you feeling jumbled, use these next ones to get back on track. And don’t be afraid to throw in some new rituals, too!
- Listen to your gut. You’re the best judge of what feels like too much, not enough, and just right. Maybe your colleague gets to the office at 6 a.m., but maybe he also has six cups of coffee before he arrives. Maybe your sister runs five miles every morning and rescues orphaned cats and dogs in her free time, but isn’t facing the same demands as you are as a working parent. Don’t judge yourself against others; judge yourself against yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, think about where you can cut back, even if only temporarily. If you’re a natural night owl, plan some time to be productive during these hours. Don’t ignore your internal cues. Your body knows what it needs, so pay attention to its signals.
Feeling more energized yet? I hope so! Remember, even if it takes some time to get back into your usual groove, your body will thank you for the efforts you make along the way. By the time spring rolls around, you’re certain to have a little more pep in your step. So, rise and shine. Tomorrow’s a new day. And stay tuned for more goodness coming your way.