Feeling a little “blah” lately and not sure why? Perhaps you’re aware of a vague malaise but you’re not quite able to pinpoint it. Don’t worry — it’s totally normal. This time of year, lots of people are struggling with the after-holiday letdown, sometimes called the post-holiday blues.
You might be sensing a lack of motivation, feeling a little down, or perhaps feeling relatively depressed (and it is possible to legitimately feel depressed without a formal diagnosis of depression — we all have periods where we struggle). Maybe you kicked 2023 off with a bang, but by the 20th of January, you’ve already fallen off your New Year’s resolutions, thinking, “Is this really going to happen again?”
Here’s something to consider: it might seem like that’s a natural human rhythm — to start the new year off like a totally new human, jumping into a fitness plan and totally upending your routine from what it looked like just days before.
But year after year, I’ve found that before we can really address those health needs, we first have to address our emotional, mental, and spiritual needs.
Something that has been on my heart lately is the need to get back to a place where I start paying attention to those rituals again, both personal rituals like early-morning journaling and walks in the woods, as well as rituals of connection.
Ask your soul, what do I need right now? You might need to go away for a day or two on a tech-free retreat with a journal and a book. It might be that this is a good time for a fast (Dry January, anyone?). Lots of people and lots of religions use this time to strip away that which we depend on for comfort. We can give our body, mind, and spirit much-needed re-set with a one-day, three-day, or even 21-day fast from certain foods or specific technology (think social media or YouTube).
I recently read a great article about fasting for 21 days. That’s a full three weeks and time enough for the body to renew itself (not that for a lot of women, this also reflects a full menstrual cycle).
Not sure what you might want to fast from? Take a moment to think of something that’s usually your go-to when it comes to comfort. Can you think of something that really doesn’t give you comfort anymore? Take a break from that.
Maybe it’s time for a new habit of gratitude. You could make a point to start every day noticing and making note of the good things in your life. Oprah has kept a gratitude journal for years and years, and to this day, she writes down five things she’s grateful for every day. Practices like these start to turn our hearts back to what is good versus what’s not good, what we have versus what we don’t have.
We closed out 2022 with a really busy holiday season, so I’m doing a few of these things myself to give myself space and time to restore.
If you’re feeling similarly inspired to tend to some of your own needs, we’d love to invite you to join us in an upcoming Art and Science of Love conference. The next one is on February 4th and 5th, and it’s the perfect opportunity to both check in with yourself and reconnect with your partner, assess your relationship, and rebuild the places in your hearts that could use a little extra care. We offer the conference quarterly, so if February doesn’t work out, you can look ahead to joining us in April. You can learn more and register here.
Happy New Year, friends.