My rigorous and carefully orchestrated yearly rituals of early holiday season prep, meticulous holiday season planning, and intensive organizational routines tend to reward me with extra rest, peace and blessed slowness, from about mid-December through the new year (albeit a few holiday, work, and life balance details here and there, but not a huge deal). Surprises? Changes? Emergencies? Sure, they happen, but all and all, my routine has worked well for me for years.
Nap under a cozy blanket? Don’t mind if I do! Curl up with a book and a piping hot cup of tea? Yes, please! A long meandering stroll on a crisp winter’s day? Sure thing!
And the list goes on. Arduous work, determination and my fierce Virgo personality (for those who subscribe to astrology) paves the way for my little annual seasonal bliss. I recognize this good fortune and don’t take it for granted. Ever.
And don’t worry; I’m back in the fray come January 1st, cleaning, organizing, planning, plotting, dreaming, resolution-making, goal-making, ready to kick off the new year with positive energy and good vibes, ready to work, ready to go-go-go. I do (and will) crash in about one to two weeks especially with resolutions that are typically unfulfilled, forgotten, or ignored, and my heart and soul wishing it weren’t a cold, gray winter anymore, but hey, I do have a good run at it for a fleeting time and that’s what counts, right?
Not this year though. No readiness, no crash, no dice.
Self-care practices and precious free time didn’t ward off this weird underlying tired feeling. I’m not ready to crash yet, because I haven’t really been able to get much into the Happy (I think, I hope) New Year. I’m not grabbing hold of the year with gusto; not yet anyway.
And I know I’m not alone. We are all more tired than we think.
I also don’t know of anyone in my personal circles that had a stellar 2022. For many it was up and down, for some a rough go overall. After two years of pandemic and other discomforting to frustrating, outrageous to horrific goings on in the world around us, a long winter’s nap sounds utterly divine.
The reality is most of us can’t sleep things off.
What we can do though is flip the script in January away from resolutions to restoration. Change the verb from resolve to restore.
I have decided to take a break for January 2023 from making resolutions. I’m not that great at them anyway, so there’s no loss there, and I would rather focus my time and energy on restoring myself. Feeling more at ease, a little less underlying tired, and a little more in the moment. I think the January Restoration Month doesn’t need to solely focus on clean eating, getting more exercise, practicing meditation and mindfulness, getting more sleep, working on relationships, finding new experiences, and the like. Although those things are powerfully good, and we should practice them, I think some simple steps and reminders can slowly restore us and build a foundation for the other stuff, so that we can begin the work to get the journey moving in the best direction for us.
Here are the steps and reminders I am taking ad following for my personal January 2023 Restoration Month:
1. Acknowledge when I am tired.
2. Remember it’s okay to be tired and to take rest. Rest for the mind, body and spirit is so very okay and so healthy. Do this. Celebrate this. Every. Single. Day.
3. Let others know if I am tired (as appropriate). Don’t apologize for it, minimize it, or exaggerate it. Let it be where it is.
4. Don’t contribute to the overly busy or workaholic culture. Don’t accept that. Don’t glorify it. Don’t normalize it.
5. Get curious about being tired. Ask questions. Be honest. Is the tiredness physical? Mental? Emotional? Spiritual? All the above? None of the above?
6. I will ask for help with my personal restoration goals and my rest needs, should I want or require that.
7. I will honor what works best for me, and not feel obligated to follow others’ paths, plans, or processes.
8. If something isn’t restored fully, or at all, that’s okay. I can try again.
9. You don’t have to do everything everyday for everybody (including yourself). You can’t. You won’t. This is okay and normal.
10. Doing nothing is good for you from time to time. Remember this. And well, do nothing and don’t feel weird or guilty about it.
There it is!
Join me in slow-rolling January 2023. Take a figurative long warm-up stretch, take rest when you are able, and let’s just sit with ourselves for a while.
We’ve all earned it.
|Kim Thompson is a nonprofit communications professional, freelance writer, and journalist in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about Kim and her work at her LinkedIn profile here: linkedin.com/in/kimberlykthompson. This essay was originally published on Medium. The author has given permission to republish it here.|