Welcome to 2019. Here’s a reminder – you are enough.
For many of you this is the first full week back at work after the festivities and I am wondering how many of you bounced out of bed full of enthusiasm for the week ahead?
January is generally a month of dissatisfaction. We are in the depths of winter, the days are dark, we have taken down our twinkly lights and the summer holidays are too far away to lift our spirits. For some, SAD is a real and very present beast, lurking in the shadows, stealing any attempt at positivity.
In November and December we are buoyed up on waves of happiness as we are exhorted to treat ourselves and our loved ones to gifts and fine foods, to eat, drink and be merry because we deserve it. In January we are berated for our excess, we are bombarded with instructions to lose weight, work out and stop drinking.
Ask yourself who benefits from these messages. Here is a clue: It is not you.
These messages are designed to sell you something. You do not need the end of year excess and you do not need the punishment of the new.
You are enough.
Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Eat those foods which nourish and sustain you, foods which give you health and energy. Deprivation in the depths of winter is unnecessary.
If you are drinking to excess find a balance, if you can’t find a balance, seek help and address the problems that lead you to drink too much. If drink is not a problem for you enjoy that glass of wine, those New Year messages are not for you.
Exercise should not feel like punishment. If it does, find better ways to exercise. Change your mind set. Take long walks at the weekends, go on cycle rides with friends or dance. Swim or gym if you enjoy it but choose something that doesn’t feel like punishment.
Daylight is still in short supply so try to make the most of it and top up your vitamin D. Get outside at lunchtime, go for walks, visit parks and gardens. Use the time to be more mindful, notice the first signs of spring. Last week I saw Camellias in full flower and the first bulbs are popping up all over the place.
If it is wet and horrible outside and you don’t want to go out, curl up with a book instead and banish guilt – reading is good for you – even the trashiest fiction!
Chocolate is not kindness but nor is deprivation.
You are enough.