You may remember that I started the new year full of hopes and plans, as I always do. In fact, I wrote about it here.
Despite loving the Winter and all of the cosiness it brings, I usually struggle with a low mood and tiredness in January and February. I thought that I could fix all of that by making lots of plans; things to look forward to. It didn’t work. Instead I felt too tired and just too low to go anywhere or do anything. Cancelling plans made me feel even worse.
January and February was mostly spent at home, wading through huge workloads which felt tougher than usual. I slept a lot, ate a lot and, in retrospect, hibernated. I felt horribly guilty, and lazy, until I went for a restorative weekend in Devon for a break away with my husband and dog. I had booked onto a watercolour workshop and, by chance, met up with a friend who was doing the same class. I told her about my impromptu hibernation and she mentioned a podcast she had been listening to called The Living Experiment. She especially recommended that I check out the podcast about Winter.
I could hug my friend for telling me about that podcast. Early the next morning, I made coffee, set up a painting table in our little holiday cottage and listened as I practised brushstrokes from the day before. The presenters talked about the necessity of resting in Winter. Taking downtime during the shorter days to recover from the busyness of Christmas but also to preserve energy and prepare for the longer days of Spring and Summer when we are naturally out and about, busy and having fun. It makes perfect sense to me. Living in alignment with the seasons.
The Slow Living movement has been on my radar for a long time now. I have been seduced, if I am honest, by the myriad of photographs on instagram showing hands cradling steaming cups of milky coffee amidst swathes of crumpled linen and piles of interesting books. I have tried to find words that resonate with me about living more intentionally but all of the articles I found seem to focus on spending less money, buying less things. Doing less.
The Living Experiment has brought everything into focus. I am a sensitive person (sometimes over-sensitive and upset easily I know) but that is why it makes absolute sense that my mood and wellbeing is sensitive to the weather, daylight and sunshine.
Talking to my yoga teacher (and all-round wellness guru) Lisa at a private class with her, I feel more comfortable with making decisions on how to have a life, and business, that suits me. I am starting to realise that I don’t need to follow the usual rules of business and, indeed, I don’t have to run my creative business in the same way that others do.
I will emerge for my own new year, henceforth, in March. With the daffodils. Next year I will actually PLAN to spend January and February at home; in my little cottage with a fire burning, my hands cradling a steaming cup of milky coffee whilst I surround myself with swathes of crumpled linen and piles of interesting books. And I won’t feel the least bit lazy, or guilty.