January is the month for setting resolutions and starting the year as you mean to go on. But instead of setting myself New Years’ resolutions for the full year, I prefer to take each month at a time and think about what I’d like to achieve in the upcoming month. When I was thinking about what January had in store, I realised I just had a whole lot of life admin tasks to sort out. So to prevent the month from becoming one long and dreary to-do list, practicing mindfulness and self care became my January resolution.
January for me is going to be about slowing down, being in the moment, and savouring small pleasures. In between getting organised for the year ahead, I’ll be using my evenings and weekends to escape in enjoyable, low cost and mindful activities so that by the end of the month I’ll feel relaxed as well as prepared. I won’t be focusing on achieving goals, learning new skills or working on a side hustle – that’s all for another time. I’ll just be taking things slowly in these 6 ways:
Winter is always my favourite season for cosying up in a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. But I’ll be avoiding all of the Goodreads book reading challenges and ploughing through as many titles as I can. For January at least, I’m going to take my time and enjoy every chapter at a relaxed pace. Doesn’t that sound like pure luxury?
2. Enjoying the Good Stuff
It’s always tempting to save your nicest things for a special occasion, but why shouldn’t every day be treated as a special occasion? This month I’ll be lighting and enjoying my favourite candles, treating myself to a beautiful bunch of fresh flowers, and savouring all of the delicious wine and chocolate that I received as Christmas gifts. That’s right – I won’t be taking part in Dry January, Veganuary or New Year diet culture because I’m not giving up anything until all the good stuff has been thoroughly enjoyed!
3. Mindful Crafting
I’ve always been a creative person, and I find focusing my mind on crafty projects relaxing as well as fun. Over the past two years I have spent plenty of happy hours on embroidery and knitting projects, which I found a lovely creative escape from any day to day stresses. And calligraphy too is a particularly great activity for practicing mindfulness, as it requires you to slow down and concentrate on your breathing as well as your pen strokes. I’m definitely planning to pick up my calligraphy pen again this January.
4. Woodland Walking
I’m not a huge fan of going walking, but I can’t deny that a wintry woodland walk on a Sunday followed by a cosy pub lunch is the perfect mindful activity for January. It’s a great way to get the body moving again after the Christmas break, and escaping into nature and the great outdoors is definitely far more mindful than a gym class.
5. Long Baths and Skincare
I will be making extra time for some long relaxing baths, which is already one of my favourite ways to unwind. And not only that but winter is a great time to give your skin a little extra attention. So I’ll be making sure to enjoy all my best luxury skincare products and relax in a face mask as often as I can this month.
6. Spending Less Time on Social Media
I do enjoy spending time on Instagram and Twitter, but I can’t deny that I feel so much better when I give my full attention to watching a film, chatting with my husband or doing those earlier activities. So although I’ll never stay away completely, I will be enjoying some social media free time this January.
By the end of January I hope I’ll be feeling in a great place both organisationally as well as mentally, and then ready to tackle whatever February throws at me. Do you have any resolutions? And do you prefer to set them for the whole year, or take a month at a time?