A Gentle Guide to January

Article published at: Agora London Feb 1, 2024
A Gentle Guide to January
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A conversation on Mind.

Happy New Year to all our readers!

New year, new beginning. It's that time of the year again when celebrations and social gatherings make way for tranquil, slow-paced days filled with motivational intentions and resolutions.

Have you ever wondered why we choose to reset our lives in January? Let's explore some historical curiosities about one of the coldest and darkest months: January.

January wasn't always the beginning of the new year. The modern calendar used globally evolved during the Roman Republic. Named after Janus, the god of time, transitions, and beginnings, January was, in fact, an invention of the ancient Romans.

It became our reset point, the time when we traditionally choose resolutions to change and improve our lives. However, after the excitement and bustle of the Christmas season, coupled with dropping temperatures and persistent darkness, it's completely natural to feel a bit down during this time of the year. For this reason, January is a challenging month for many people in terms of motivation, and it coincides with the peak season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Understanding that these feelings are a natural response to the external environment is the first step to overcoming symptoms like lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and changes in sleeping and eating patterns.

You've probably come across numerous suggestions on how to regain energy and motivation during this challenging time. Today, I won't provide another list of things to do. Instead, I want to emphasise that amidst the overwhelming information and guidance on how to live our lives, it's essential to understand the natural balance and connection with nature. For instance, accepting that during winter months, feeling exhausted and unfocused is a natural response.

This brings me to my second point: set realistic goals and motivations. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself by setting goals and motivations that you won't be able to achieve. Instead, try breaking your goals down into smaller, achievable tasks. Achieving small positive changes during the next month will motivate you to continue

to uphold your commitments and help you refocus on your potential and expectations. Positive results will bring about more positive thoughts, and feeling more energetic and positive means you can still enjoy your social life with loved ones, thereby improving your emotional well-being and combating the January blues.

Apart from getting more natural light, staying active, and following a healthy diet, I urge you to refocus on yourself and truly understand your needs and aspirations. Articulate your personal improvement plan in a way that is achievable for you. 

Soon, you'll be able to access a downloadable 4 minute Health Journal on the Agora website. This resource aims to support you in your journey of understanding  and managing your health and its influence/impact on your daily life.

Expecting high levels of productivity 24/7 is unrealistic and unhealthy, setting you up for failure. It's crucial to listen to your body and mind, especially during this time of the year. If you're feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a break. Lastly, don't forget to reward yourself for staying motivated during these dark days. Setting small rewards for yourself after completing tasks or achieving goals will help maintain your motivation levels.

So, during this challenging season, let's celebrate together our conscious choices to nurture and improve our well-being. By informing ourselves about the best options to incorporate into our lifestyle, we aim to achieve an optimal state of health.

As I conclude, know that you are not alone on this path to better health and wellness. Your journey is unique but together we form a community of strength and support.

Let’s thrive together,

Cristina x


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