I don’t know about you but all this hype about the New Year and making resolutions makes me stressed. The glorious expansion of the festive season doesn’t last (our energy system would short circuit otherwise) and with the arrival of January we naturally contract and our energy dips. This is of course anathema to the New Year Resolutions we are made to feel we should be making at a time when our bodies still want to hibernate.
Don’t you think there is almost a puritanical edge to the New Year? There is a list of musts and shoulds that jostle for first place. I must lose weight. I must tone up if I want to fit into my new bikini (I mean who the hell even thinks of a bikini in the arctic January dip). I should give away the last of the Christmas goodies. I should give up my lie ins and get back to reality. I should take down the decorations and strip the house of the very things that made us happy in the first place. And do it quickly so it is over and done with. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
This year, after a wonderful Christmas and a surprising engagement, I feel that I have been bathed in joy and bonhomie. Visiting relatives who cooed over my ring and enquired as to the date of my wedding made me feel happy as I am transiting into a whole new stage in my life. I am determined to treat the New Year with the reverence it deserves and plan to protect my inner child who is quite literally traumatised by New Year’s resolutions. Instead I plan to ease my way into 2017 and based on how I feel, I will calibrate for the coming season.
Hurrah. I suddenly feel like I don’t have to sit an exam or something similar. I feel like I’ve been granted a get out of jail card. I do not want to join the high number of gym attendees as I could not face pummelling my body into shape. The torture. This does not inspire me and if truth be known I would want to give up by the end of the month. Rushing into the New Year, creating any type of gruelling schedule, is bound to fail because although on a mental level we might muster up the enthusiasm, on an emotional level we are ill prepared and so will give up at the first sniffle or will gradually reduce the time we go to maybe one day a week and even then we just go there for the sauna and the banter. I am speaking from experience from a time when I wanted to pummel my Fitzgibbon thighs into waiflike pins. And I felt terrible. The thighs stayed and my body didn’t respond favourably to high intensity exercise as a means to reduce adrenal fatigue.
This year I want to feel good. I want to feel happy and healthy. I want to be less judgemental of myself and others. I want to share my expertise with people who need to make changes in their lives to get them to where they want to be. I have a lot to look forward to and I have a lot to enjoy in the present moment, such as some Green and Black chocolate, that has been strategically hidden by me at the back of the fridge, to be enjoyed later on tonight with a warm cup of chai.
So I have dissolved the punitive nature of New Year and have replaced it instead with an easing into January. I am already a lot happier. My inner child is remarkably appeased with the extension of the season of ho ho ho. My Christmas tree will stay up until after the weekend and the candles will continue to burn brightly. I am feeling my way into 2017 and so far I like it. January is still a month of hibernation- check out the other animals that share the planet with us. So cherish your own inner child and check in with how he/she feels before getting too strict. We respond much better to being kind to ourselves than punishing ourselves for the season’s excesses. Perhaps our resolutions should be an extension of the evolutionary leaps we made in the previous year, building on what has gone before. There’s a thought. May I wish all of you a Happy Healthy Year for 2017. Don’t let your happiness be quenched by a to do list no matter how well meaning it seems. I’ll let you in on what I’m doing next week.