Here we are, heading towards the end of Jan 2023.
January is a mixed month for me as both of my children’s, their partners and my best friends birthdays are in January.
It is also my sobriety anniversary and this year I celebrated 14 years (one day at a time).
The 25th is Burns night where the Scottish traditionally celebrate the bard Robert Burns.
Jan 22nd was the beginning of the new lunar year, a new moon and the Chinese New Year begins. This year is the water rabbit.
Even though in the UK January can be cold, dark, I’m grateful that my January’s have many opportunities for JOY.
Spring is coming so hang in there!
The days are slowly stretching out with the evenings and mornings beginning to get lighter. The weather tells us that we are still in the middle of winter, but Mother Nature is giving us little signs that spring is coming.
Spring is my favourite season so I’m enjoying those subtle signs. The spring bulbs are pushing themselves slowly of out the frozen ground. I’ve spotted some vibrant yellow Forsythia flowering early; they contribute hugely to the reawakening of the garden after winter. I’ve just learnt that I have been pruning the one in my garden incorrectly, so I won’t get to see as many flowers this year as I had hoped for.
Getting enough daylight
Lots of people find January and February hard with energy and mood low like the sun in the sky.
Getting outdoors and seeing daylight daily is essential to keeping up our mood and energy. Getting daylight as early in the day as possible can really help with your sleep as it helps set your circadian rhythm. I use a light box on dark mornings to give me a boost.
It’s harder to get the daylight if we work indoors and leave and arrive home in the dark. If it’s possible, try and get outside for a walk during lunchtime.
Our vitamin D stores are becoming depleted to now is a good time to eat foods containing vitamin d and maybe take a supplement to give your levels a boost.
The best way to get vitamin D is via sunshine on our skin but that certainly isn’t happening for a few months yet!
Dr Axe has some good vitamin D food examples here https://draxe.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-foods/
Rest and recuperate
I need sleep! Without it I turn into a bit of an asshole 😉
I’ve been sleeping for longer recently, sometimes for over 9 hours! This is for two reasons.
- I’ve been going to bed earlier (duh!), sometimes as early as 8pm, and read for a while (no screens in the bedroom)
- We have bought some new light bulbs which don’t contain blue light which is stimulating and stops melatonin production.
I’ve got a Twilight one in my bedroom which is red light and makes me want to sing “Roxanne – you don’t have to put on your red light” by the police.
Modern living has changed how we sleep
Traditionally we would rise and go to bed with the sun. Gas/electric lighting has put a stop to that for people who use it.
Pre industrial revolution our sleeping habits were very different. This is a fascinating article about how we used to have two sleeps per night with a 1-2 hour wake time in between.
January calls for nourishing meals like soups and stews which aren’t only healthy and hearty they are post christmas budget friendly too.
I’ve just bought an Instant pot pro crisp which is brilliant. It’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, steamer and has a separate air fryer lid. I made an amazing Thai inspired pumpkin soup the other day.
January is a go slow month. Even though we are bombarded with the ‘New Year New You’ message. January is probably the worst time energetically to do a detox or to start a punishing regime.
by adding a few nourishing habits that feel like they are caring rather than punishing. Simple changes like keeping hydrated, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, adding a big portion of veg to your dinner will over time do wonders for your health and well-being.
This is the time to enjoy a slower pace, find pleasure in moving slowly and find your inner sloth. Spring and summer will come soon, and so will the more vibrant energy.
Life is easier if we work with the flow of daily rhythms, cycles and seasons.
Below is my cat and dog sunbathing. I want a human size fluffy donut bed.
As we slowly ease out of hibernation, I feel the need reconnect and be with others. I miss seeing you guys!
Sweet & Salty – Menopause Meet-ups.
My colleague Nat and I are gently launching a new venture together.
They offer a warm and friendly environment for women to come together and find support and community; to discuss the rough and the smooth; the ups and the downs and the sweet and salty of Menopause life.
Find out more here….