It's now the end of January, so perhaps you have already got over your post Christmas/New Year's Blues but let's be honest, we can have down periods any time of year. Various circumstances can dampen our spirits, or energies and inspiration can simply be at a low point.
In addition, the Covid Pandemic with its lockdowns and unusual circumstances have warped time and added confusion to our routines and rhythms.
There are a lot of tips out there, like planning your year ahead, setting goals, sitting in front of artificial light or planning holidays. We thought we'd share some tips that are a little more personal. Things that have helped us, as well as having been proven to work on a wider scale. Here's a few actions and mindsets that have supported us in getting our energies going, our spirits flying and our inspirations flowing.
1) Have Compassion with Yourself
The first step is, that whenever you are not at your best, whether in a very dark place or just feeling a little 'meh', is to not make it worse by beating yourself up about it. We have a tendency to let guilt, fear and self criticism, take over whenever we're not performing the way we think we should. The truth is, what we think, is not always the reality. Forgive yourself and have compassion to the 'you' that is currently feeling the way it is.
"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete", are some wise words of Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield.
This compassion alone, can boost your confidence and in return give you more energy. It's like another version of you, giving you a hug and a pat on the back for encouragement. "Don't worry, you are ok!"
2) Establish a routine of exercise and fresh air
Go outside! Find 20 minutes each day to go outside, walk and breath some invigorating breaths, ideally somewhere among trees. Increasing blood circulation and oxygen is what we're looking for.
Pick a type of exercise you enjoy. Yoga pilates, ballet, aerobics...There is no lack of online zoom classes or Instagram lives, and there is truly something for everybody.
3) Listen to Music, Play Music, Dance!
We're music loving folk, so this one is a real soul soother, in our opinion. Start your day with some uplifting tunes. Pick up your instrument and get lost in your practice. Shake that bootie and dance your heart out. Don't believe us? Check out this 2013 study, which showed that listening to music significantly improves our mood, short and longterm.
4) Help Others
Giving, is a huge feel good factor. You could volunteer at a charity, help someone in a small business, devote time to a friend or family member in need, or help out at an animal shelter. Acts of kindness and giving to the community lifts your own spirits as well as serves the wider community.
At the beginning of each year we somehow have this anticipation that because it is the New Year, everything will be different. This is true of 2021 but really, it's like that every year. It is the promise of new beginnings and we are initially energised to be better versions of ourselves.
On the outside, it is the end of the festive season and the coldest time of the year, business is slow and for many of us it's the time we have to file our taxes. All in all, a pretty depressing time.
But the promise of renewal is not an illusion. The times where things slow down and outer distractions are at their lowest, is the best time to set new intensions, create new healthy habits and find time to dig a little deeper. And when that's how you look at it, the slump and grey that is our dark season, really is a blessing in disguise.
And wherever you are, whatever your plans are, there's always a suitable soundtrack ♫♪♬