An Invitation to Pause

Posted by Anisha Parmar on

 

 

As the sun sets on 2023, it’s a moment to reflect on the year’s happenings. But I find that sometimes January can be a moment of frantic scrambling; you feel like you HAVE to have new habits, goals and actions in place and feel like a failure if you don’t maintain them.

Over the last year or two, I’ve realised that for me, Spring feels like a better fit to kick off a new approach to things. The resurgence of life after winter in nature feels like an apt time to breathe new life into my day to day. Whether that’s new launches, new habits…Spring just feels like it makes better sense, for me at least. 

I find the dark dreariness of winter weighs heavily on me. Finding clarity of thought feels challenging, my energy is lower…and let’s be real, all a lot of us want to do is curl up under a blanket and comfort-watch a show or film we’ve seen a hundred times! - full hibernation mode!

The first 3 months of the year are the time where I go inwards, spending my time journaling, reflecting, planning and resting where I am being really mindful of the work I take on. I've learnt that running a business and my wellbeing are so intertwined, that savouring the slower months means that I can build up my energy for the busier times and work on having practices that ground me when things are really hectic. 

Trying to force change just because a (man-made!) calendar says that it’s a “new start”, doesn’t necessarily feel organic. I feel like we should take our cues from nature! Whether you feel that Autumn and its transformative messaging aligns better with you, or it’s Spring and its (re)generation and new growth that calls to you…I encourage you to reflect inwards this winter, and find a rhythm that works for you.

For me, winter is a time to reflect and review, but not necessarily refresh. So here are some ways I’ll be checking in with myself this season:

  • Look back at the year 
      • I always do a round-up of my year (you can read this year’s one HERE), looking at highs, lows and lessons. It can be easy to forget all the things you’ve achieved, and seeing it all written down feels sooo good! Try and celebrate these wins by treating yourself, sharing it with friends and toasting to those wins, maybe even booking a spa day! 
      • Don't forget to note your own personal triumphs too- no matter now small they are. I know I tend to really focus on big work wins but this year I made sure to reflect on the things I did for myself too. This also helped me to think about practices that I'd like to take forward into the new year and things, people, work ,etc. that I want to leave behind. 
      • Here's a tool called the Year Compass that I use to help me reflect and intentionally think about the new year that might be helpful.

  • Unplug from social media
      • For many of us, Oct-Dec is the most social time of year due to all the festivities from Navratri and Diwali through to Christmas and New Year.
      • My social battery has its limits, so at this time of year when the “IRL socialising” is up, I turn my “URL socialising” down
      • Even if just for a few days, taking a step away from social media also means I can be more present and engaged in-person which is so important both in terms of filling up my emotional cup with loved ones, and showing them how important they are to me as well.

     

    • Deep Rest 
      • I mean it... actually real rest. Switch off from it all, lie down, nap, and indulge in all the things that make you calm and bring you joy!
      • As soon as I stopped for my Christmas break last week, I caught a horrible cold and flu almost forcing me to rest- for me that's a sign of burn out! Luckily, we had a short break in the UK planned for us to really rest, in the middle of woods where were surrounded by nature and spent 3 days going on walks, good food and lots of naps whilst being immersed in nature. Just what we needed!

    However you're spending your festive break, I hope you've found some time for YOU and can make some time at the beginning of the year to intentionally start slow and ease into 2024 at a pace that feels right for you!

    Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

     

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