Happy New Year! We can still say that can't we? When is the right time to stop wishing someone happiness and healthiness for this year to come?
I reckon we have another week or so :)
I used to feel stressed at this time of the year, especially the minute Christmas was over and suddenly I had space to think about the future. Do you feel the same, as the New Year dawns do you think 'what am I going to achieve this year? Is it a positive experience or a scary one?
Once I started studying chinese medicine I realised January 1st was the wrong time of year to pretty much do anything new, it's just a date change over, ( a powerful one admittedly) but one that we have become accustomed to.
I do wonder if New Year is easier in a country that is in the middle of summer ? Normally I would say Australia due to their lifestyle and weather, but unfortunately that isn't the case this year.
My point is though, we're in a different mindset in the height of summer from the middle of winter. Then again the mindset of Spring and Autumn are different again, and what happens in countries that don't have seasons? Could the average Brit live in a country without seasons and know what the right time it was to do anything. It does make you think about how seasonally driven we are.
Right now, in darkest January we should be in our hibernation period. If we didn't have 'Christmas' plonked in the middle of it we would probably be curled up like a sleeping for most of December with the shortest days.
December though tends to manic, for everyone whether you celebrate Christmas or not as the energy of the country is in finishing up mode, whether its schools and activities, companies closing for a break, rushing to get orders filled and jobs tied up, all so that we can 'relax over the Christmas holiday'; just what would our country look like if we didn't have Christmas in December?
I haven't a clue, but what I do know is that we all then collapse! Just about every one I've met this new year was ill over christmas - why is this? It's because you have the time to be ill, you start relaxing and *bang* your body says 'ahhhh, and out comes the virus.
HOW MANY OF YOU START JANUARY 1st WITH A SPRING IN YOUR STEP?
If the answer is NO - I'll explain in a moment.
If the answer is YES , I'll ask - how long will it last? Willpower holds out for about 30 days, so that's enough to get you through 'Dry January' or ' Veganuary', but is that a real change in your life?
If you answered NO, know that that is OK!
Remember, for your body clock, January 1st is the middle of our hibernation period. There are adverts out their for diets and exercise and new regimes but is this the right time to make these changes; are we defying nature and our body clock for the calendar year?
THE HOLISTIC APPROACH
When we talk about holistic therapies we're talking about treating your mind and body as a whole, so if you start a diet on January 1st, your mind is taking you there but will the rest of your follow? If you hit the gym, are mind and body working together to keep you going back?
And this is what holistic is, its about being in tune with what is right for your mind and body, and we can apply this to the whole year by going off our biological clock and not the calendar and doing things at the right time.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME FOR ACTION?
When is the time to make the changes that you want to make, when your mind, body and our weather all come together to make it easier for you to alter lifestyle habits.
Spring is the energy of new growth, the longer days of light, and if we're lucky some warmth is starting to appear. Take a tip from the plants, wait until March before you spring into action!
The 2 major things in our health and wellbeing are what we're eating and what exercise we're doing. If you have already made changes, keep them going through January as you're used to what you're doing. You may have relaxed over Christmas, but you can pick up where you left off. I'm not telling everyone to 'slob out' over January, I'm saying don't force yourself against your will power to do something that doesn't feel natural.
If you want to try a new eating style, this may take weeks to feel comfortable with, and that is going to be an uphill battle in a cold grey winter. It is going to be easier to make food changes when the sun comes out again.
For exercise, incorporate walks into your day, get out in your lunch hour to see day light and enjoy the weekends, this is part of relaxing through the month of January, and come home to a hot nutritious meal.
What not to do is to to shock your system in to early morning bootcamps in the dark or classes in the evening when you want to eat and watch tele. This is going against your body clock and you won't last - Remember willpower exhausts after 30 days. If you put yourself up for a gruelling regime now, will you make it to February?
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY CLOCK
So, you may have already started a new fitness regime, and if so , you're 2 weeks in - how is it going?
If its going great, and you don't feel resentful then that is fantastic. If however you're struggling then your body is telling you something and I'm asking you to listen to it - Now is not the right time to be doing this. You've had the right idea, just at the wrong time. Park it and come back to it when it feels right in 6-8 weeks. That isn't giving up, its listening to what your body wants.
We have incredibly powerful minds but the more rigid you are with something the quicker you will fatigue with it, and then think you have failed. You haven't failed, you just tried to swim upstream at the wrong time of year and the currents were against you.
HOW SHIATSU CAN HELP IN THE NEW YEAR
Mindset.... Aches and Pains .... Sluggishness .... Performance ....
I know I've just done a whole blog on on hibernation and taking it easy, but that doesn't mean we don't use a month where we've taken the foot off the pedal to not doing anything for our health.
Part of creating great health at this time of year is getting out in the weekend daylight and walking - get air into your lungs! I did DIY last week, it maybe the last time, my lungs were affected by the toxic fumes coming from the paint, and it was a very well known brand too! My shiatsu yesterday got my breathing back on track, I hadn't realised my lungs were affected but I was thinking I was more tired than normal. If you're feeling tired it can be to the lack of quality of air, too much indoor time at the moment, especially if you're in and air conditioned office.
The other thing is to really think about nutrition, post Christmas our digestion maybe sluggish, a diet may not be the thing to kick start you but the right nutrition plus a Shiatsu could be just what you need.
Shiatsu removes sluggishness from the body, it'll start systems up again that have gone into food and drink coma. Too much sitting on the sofa? Achy backs and shoulders tend to be from weakened muscles, those that have stiffened up, or those that have caught a cold, and have started hurting for no reason. Let Shiatsu help the blood flow again, and the pain ease.
So whether its your lungs, your muscles or your digestive system, take January easy and take time to look after yourself .... and Shiatsu is a great place to start! Book in online or call Andrea on 07899 987227.