Have you ever wondered why January is so hard? Since October, we have had three magnificent holidays back to back. We start with Halloween and candy corn in October, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas (those orange slices get me every time)!
And here we are. No fun holidays to look forward to and Christmas decorations are put away. It’s dark when you wake up and dark when you get home from work. You find yourself feeling…blah! At this point you are probably even tired of eating junk, wondering where all your money went and why the heck your pants are so tight (candy corn and orange slices and everything in between)! You may be ready for a fresh start (bye 2020, see ya never) so here are my top 10 tips that I have personally tried, recommend, and am currently doing to avoid the winter blues and have a good 2021:
1. Allow time for rest. Recharge! Refresh! Give yourself permission to slow down and take some time for yourself. Rest looks different for everyone. Maybe it’s as simple as a nap. Rest could look like a new hobby, going on a walk or grabbing coffee by yourself. Slowing down prepares us for what is next.
2. Declutter – start with the items you use daily – small areas first so you don’t get overwhelmed. A drawer in your bathroom, your purse, or car. You will be more productive, save time looking for the keys you’re always losing, and you may even save money! When you know what you already have, you will know what you don’t need.
3. Set achievable goals – start small, but start.
4. Be honest with yourself. What causes you the most stress? What makes you feel relaxed or sparks creativity? Take time to reflect and you may discover that a few simple changes to your daily routine can make a huge difference!
5. Start a book exchange. I am not a huge reader, but I do love it when friends recommend a book or pass along a “must read!” Sharing books with friends will cut down the clutter, save money and force you to slow down!
6. Journal. I could write a novel on this one (haha)! I have literally bought dozens and dozens of notebooks and journals that I start and never finish before finding another cute journal to write my thoughts. For me, it is the best way for me to pray & praise! 7. Organize your photos. Create a digital album or get those photos printed! I love Google photos because you can use the search feature to find people in your images. This helps making collages of photos for birthdays or special occasions much easier. FreePrints is an app you can use to print free photos. Snapfish and Shutterfly are great, too! Take a little walk down memory lane.
8. Schedule a personal retreat. Andy and I have been doing this for years. It is the best thing we could ever do for ourselves and for our marriage. We plan a weekend away dedicated to setting our goals for the year. We discuss what we did well and what we learned from the previous year. We share personal goals, discuss financial goals, spiritual goals, and vacation plans. We dream together! It is such a great way to start the year and it’s a great investment in our marriage.
9. Celebrate rather than compare. Let’s learn celebrate each other rather than compare each other! I posted a photo the other day of my living room all neat and clean, meanwhile, I literally had 10 loads of clean laundry piled in my closet that needed to be folded. Moms, wives, women…we are not perfect and never will be. Let’s make a point to celebrate each other. Find someone to encourage today.
10. Be you! What is something you like to do? Is there something you feel like you are called to do, but you’re too concerned about failure or how it may appear to others? Fear is not of Jesus! That’s right! He did not give us a spirit of fear. Step out in faith and watch God do incredible and exciting things!