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The December holidays are now over and the New Year has begun. I look forward to the quiet time that is January. For me, it is a time to reflect on the year that was and ponder the year that is to come. For others, January is a recovery time. Perhaps parties and family gatherings were frequent and long-lasting. Perhaps obligations brought up old wounds that need healing. Perhaps loved ones were missing due to distance, work, or death and their loss is deeply felt.

It is important to give yourself space to just “be.” We all need this, often crave it, but rarely actually follow through with it. Sometimes we choose not to have that down-time because we don’t want to listen to our own thoughts running in loops. It is important to recognize this about yourself and ask if this momentum is curative or a band aid. How about a different approach to downtime? Your time might be reading in a corner of the library, a walk with a friend, yoga or other exercise class, or a video game. This might be the time to try out that new recipe, restaurant, museum, or bookstore. Start plans for a vacation (even if it is a stay-cation). If you are saving money for a car, home, or other big purchase, dream about what that will look like. How about that house by the sea that comes with all the amenities? What would that look like? Would the home you actually buy be smaller but decorated with a nautical theme? It’s okay to dream big before going practical.

This January, millions of people will make resolutions about their eating and exercise habits. Let’s make a resolution that makes brain down-time and quiet spaces a priority. When our minds are at rest, the other habits tend to balance themselves.

May this be a year of calm, laughter, love, friendship, and health.

Happy New Year!

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