January has rolled around and if you are living on the northern hemisphere like me, you might become a little impatient for the light and energy to return. I am usually in good spirits from late October, where winter in Switzerland begins, to the end of January, and then my motivation starts to crumble, for I know it will be a good two more months until the first signs of spring become noticeable. So winter is looooong. And for the longest time I have struggled with making the big moves in January. It was a fresh year, I had formed some resolutions, I was inspired: why was it so hard to get into gear?
Well, it is simple: The year does not really “start” before the end of March. You can prepare, plan, invest in the basicwork, look ahead, but it is not a time for execution. In the past few years I have tried to take this into account and came January, I started slow. You are supposed to go inward, to ground yourself and take the time to build your healthy routines. Go to bed early, sleep longer. Cook up root vegetables, which means a lot of soups and stews. Huddle up in a nice place with a friend and have deep, meaningful conversations. Reconnect with your values. Once spring and summer roll around, we will be bouncing all over the place, be social, invest ourselves in all the fun events and realize our small and big projects. For that, we need to have our ducks in a row. Winter is all about laying a solid foundation for the busy year to come.
So now I know better. I’m not planning big things for January and February. I still need time to rest and go inward. The days are short, we lack light in the mornings and evenings. We get to sit with our morning rituals a bit longer, and call it a day a little earlier, we get to light more candles. Mother nature always shows us best: Do you see anything sprouting yet? No. Everything is buried under snow, or covered up in mud, colors are grey and brown, dark green. There might be mild sunny winter days, but blossoms and abundance are still far away.
I have learned to embrace this time and try to make the most of it. I’m currently enjoying long morning walks with my baby, all wrapped up in the carrier and snuggling up to me, loving the sounds my boots make on the frozen ground and my breath being visible in the cold winter air. For spring and summer will come and I will never get these quiet hours with her back, she will grow bigger, more independent, and blossom into a toddler before I know it.
I invite you to think about: Are you gearing up too fast after holiday season is over? Where in your life could you take things down a notch? For right now it is not the time to push yourself, it is the time to go slower, for selfcare, and inward practice.