The beginning of a new year can bring lots of pressures and challenges – on top of old ones that rear their ugly heads from the past year. The shift from holiday times (whether stressful or fun or both) back to a focus on work, resolutions, and goals – the transition can be really challenging.
So in January especially, be sure to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
In a way, the end of one year and the start of another is like any other transition. And it is in times of transition when we are most likely to stumble, struggle, or suffer.
Think of starting to ride a bicycle from a stationary position. We might wobble a bit or lose our balance a few times before getting going.
Think of starting to pedal from stationary while going up a hill. We might not even be able to get started!
I often find myself in a bit of a stressful slump in January.
Sure, I have my requisite goals and aspirations for the year to keep me motivated and moving forward. But, sometimes, those prove to be my downfall, literally (i.e., injuring myself because I’ve set unrealistic and overly ambitious exercise goals for myself).
I also face that void that’s left after a full set of days with family and friends, without so much of the pressure of work.
It’s very easy for that void to get filled with anxiety, fear, nostalgia, longing, and stress.
Even if you're looking forward to a return to your normal routine, I urge you to keep your physical and mental health at the top of your list of priorities this January (if they aren’t already).
Work might come back with a relentless force. Demands on your time and energy may spike. Your own personal goals may prove to be formidable.
But be kind to yourself.
Don’t try to do everything all at once.
Set aside “me time” to rejuvenate and restore your energy each day or at least every few days.
Make sure you get enough sleep.
Schedule fun activities for yourself so that you have events to look forward to.
Take your vitamins and nutrients.
Schedule in some kind of physical activity a few times a week – even if it’s low-level exercise.
Spend time each week with friends or family or some books :)