January has arrived, the month of dark days, empty bank accounts and a well-meaning list of resolutions.
Of course a large percentage of us could benefit from eating (delete as appropriate) clean/low calorie/low fat/low cholesterol/vegan/more frequently/home-made/healthily. Or exercising like we actually mean it.
Learning a language, saving money, stopping smoking, giving back to the community or whatever is on the list of “to do” for 2018. The list could be endless.
But surely we could do this at any time couldn’t we?
January bombards us with “first month free” gym offers if you sign up for a year, and the clothing stores make sure you can see their workout wear front and centre as you enter, all brightly coloured, lycra heavy and so full of fitness promise. Even the diet companies try to tempt you with the no joining fee promise of dietary support and group classes or magazines suggesting how you should overhaul your clothes or save hundreds by not buying a coffee when you’re out.
The pressure to “STOP” or “GIVE UP” can be detrimental, who wants to feel like a failure at the start of the because they could maintain the wheatgrass shots or hot yoga sessions?
So I thought we could be part of a revolution.
A movement of self-love and investment.
You give so much of yourself to everyone else, but how often do you take care of you?
It really is incredibly simple, my principle is instead of feeling bad that by week three of the month you haven’t maintained the get fit regime, or lost/gained weight, got organised etc. you pledge to start doing just one positive thing a day that is just for you.
Of course it could be going for run or taking a spin class, but it just as easily be sitting quietly with a drink watching the world go by out of your window, reading a chapter of a book, or putting your favourite song on repeat for a few cycles.
Everyone has a busy life, juggling all the elements and pressures that come along with working, home, partners, friends, family, kids, health, finance.
So can you find five minutes for you?
Mindfulness and meditation has increased in popularity, so many of us are searching for the quiet and comfortable contemplation. The hope of a reduction in anxiety, inner peace and calmness in a crazy world is certainly appealing. And maybe not out of reach.
So here is my request to you.
Today, and tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that, allow yourself some time to do something that makes you smile, or relax, or gets your heart rate up, or makes you think, or even makes you cry.
Talk to your friend, pour that glass of wine, eat that one thing you really enjoy, sing that song at the top of your voice.
Enjoy, acknowledge and feel the emotions associated with whatever it is you choose to do.
This is your time.
Starting with small things can make a huge difference. They feel achievable and less pressurised to become part of your daily routine.
There’s no telling what you could feel inspired to do, the big things can follow at your pace and as D Everett said, “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”.
You are important and don’t forget it.
Debbie Favell, DDH UK