January. It’s never been my favourite time of the year. For starters, the weather is cold, dark and grey which equates to not wanting to get out of bed at all. Everywhere you look, adverts and social feeds are telling us to eat healthier, get fitter or make this year ‘your best yet!’ I hate being told what to do. It’s a recipe for disaster and on a personal level, this is the time of year I find most mentally challenging ( and that’s before a pandemic and third national lockdown are thrown into the mix).
I’ve found it difficult to write how I feel but I know that this is the time I must write. Even if it doesn’t make sense at all (and honestly not much makes sense at the moment). It’s a time to collect my thoughts, write them down so as to not get overwhelmed, to not feel emotionally compressed and to understand why I am feeling the way I am.
It helps to know that I am not alone. There is strength in numbers and just knowing that I am not fighting this struggle solo helps. Sure, it’s a personal battle but there are plenty of other battles being fought too, by people all over the world, from all different backgrounds. I am not unique, I am not special, I am not victimised. I must be grateful for what I have, not for what I haven’t.
I must remain focused, focused on what is important-what matters the most right now. Which is that, now, more than ever what matters the most is my health. Yes, my physical health, but absolutely my mental health too. It’s as I’ve gotten older, that I’ve not only understood the significance of nuturing my mental health but I’ve appreciated doing so more and more with each passing year.
That’s why, for me, January will not be a month of going vegan, dieting or attempting daily workouts. It will be a month of writing. A month of cleansing my mind, detoxing any negative thoughts and exercising mindfulness by being kind to myself by listening and learning about how I feel and what I want.
& that to me, is the best way to start the year.