A belated Happy New Year to you!
I really hope you’re having a great start to 2020… but if you’re not, don’t fear - you’re not alone. There’s so much pressure and expectation around the beginning of a new year as a time for motivation and inspiration, but I want you to know that it’s ok to feel a bit sluggish - I sure have been (if, on the other hand, you’ve had an amazing start to the year, have found yourself with huge amounts of energy, you’re in a good headspace and you’re making time for yourself - good for you!)
For a number of reasons, the start of 2020 has not at all been what I expected, and it’s probably why my first message to you has come when we’re already two weeks into the year (I’m trrrying to be kind to myself about it being later than I thought.)
I thought that the new year would bring me a surge of energy and enthusiasm, but instead it delivered self-doubt and inaction. I finished last year on a high, with so many grand ideas and plans for 2020, but come January I found myself so stuck and overwhelmed with where to start.
I’ve been experiencing major writer’s block and the pressure to create more blog posts (which I usually enjoy) has meant I’ve completely avoided it altogether.
I also had grand plans to build the retreat society directory (in order to connect you with local businesses that can help you enjoy some well-deserved me time), but to be honest my fear of failure, coupled with guilt about moving forward when there’s a devastating crisis ripping through our country, made me feel totally stuck and unable to move forward.
It’s been a strange start to the year.
So why am I finally writing this now?
Because I’ve decided to do something about the way I’m feeling. And I thought that maybe if I share the steps I’ve taken, they might resonate with you if one day you’re feeling something similar. So here’s what I’ve been doing to get out of my New Year’s slump; to refuel, re-energise and feel a bit more like myself (and so far it seems to be working):
I read: I picked up an inspirational book, and vowed to read it for 10 minutes as soon as I woke up each morning. I chose Meredith Gaston’s ‘Find Your Sparkle’, and what an amazing impact it has had on shifting my perspective each day. It has made me feel so much more grateful for the most simple, magical moments we get to experience as living beings - it contains so many words of wisdom (and beautiful illustrations!). I’ve been sharing some of my favourite quotes from the book in my Instagram stories, and will continue doing so, if you’re interested in following along.
I moved: I’ve been making time in my morning routine to move my body in some way - even if it’s not a high-intensity workout - a walk with the dog or even some slow stretching has done wonders to help clear my mind and relieve the tension/weight in my body.
I nourished myself: After a period of sugary, alcoholic indulgence over the Christmas/New Year period (don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed or beating myself up - there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this)I’ve made a conscious decision over the past week to fuel my body with the nutrients it needs to give me my energy back. It’s certainly not about restricting myself - there’s still leftover truffles to eat - but it’s about being kind to my body and making sure it gets the nourishment it needs. I’ve been using the Kayla Itsines 28-Day Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Guide I bought a few years ago which has some easy and yummy recipes (the moussaka was ahhmazinng, highly recommend!)
I listened to my fave podcasts: I was listening to personal development podcasts almost daily towards the end of last year, but another weird thing at the start of 2020 was that I just wanted to avoid them. It was like I didn’t want to have to start working towards anything, and knowing that the podcasts would help me move forward - I just wouldn’t let myself listen to them (weird!) This week I made a deliberate decision to start listening again to podcasts like The Perfectionism Project by Sam Laura Brown, and Shameless In Conversation, and it has been so nice to feel like I’m getting back in the groove. I’ve even been taking notes when I hear little tidbits of wisdom that really resonate - I couldn’t imagine this time last week that I’d have this kind of energy back.
I invested in myself: I mentioned Sam Laura Brown (a mindset coach, personal development blogger and podcast host) above, as she’s someone who I really resonate with and have been following for some time now. Sam has a monthly membership program that helps perfectionists like myself beat procrastination and get out of their own way, and although I’ve always thought it would be a great membership, I just didn’t want to spend any money on it. This week I decided to take the leap and invest in myself, because at the end of the day I think it’s just as important to invest in my own mental growth and development as it is to buy a gym membership! I already feel better about myself for spending the money, as not only do the resources and coaching calls look awesome - I feel like my self-worth has increased as I actually decided I was worth spending money on! Who’d have thought!?
I gave myself permission to change my plans: some of you who were subscribers last year may remember in an email that I said I would try and publish a blog post every Sunday night… but as the weeks (and Sunday nights) have passed me by and I’ve had writers block I just completely avoided blogging… with a lot of guilt about it at the back of my mind. So, as a strategy instead of blogging, I started writing a few short, snappy quotes for Instagram instead, and I felt like it has helped me get my creative juices flowing again.
I simply started: This post was originally meant to just be a quick email update to check-in, and to let you know how I’ve been feeling...but once I started writing this, without the pressure of it actually being a blog post, the words have flown! What I thought would be a quick email has turned into a blog post with over a thousand words… and I think it’s the quickest one I’ve written, ever. What I’ve learnt from this is that sometimes, if you can convince yourself to take one small step, to just start without the pressure of actually finishing or completing, you end up on a roll and getting it done anyway!
And finally, I let myself off the hook: for starting the year unmotivated, for changing my plans and, hardest of all - for moving forward when so much of our beautiful country is going through hell. Me holding back from progressing my business isn’t helping anyone affected by the bushfire crisis. My donations, my thoughts, my prayers, my messages of support and my heart are what will make a positive impact. So I’m going to focus on these ways that I have helped and will continue to help those in need, at the same time as moving forward with retreat society.
I know I’ve still got work to do on feeling re-energised, and I’m aware there will be a time when I find myself in a slump again. Now that I’ve been through this phase though, and discovered some strategies that work, I’ll be able to bring them into play when I need them again.
A note to finish: speaking of finally taking action, I’ve decided to run an Instagram campaign focused on gratitude, because if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from reading Meredith Gaston’s book each morning it’s that gratitude certainly does breed happiness. The campaign is called #ThanksForTheMeTime and I’m asking you to join me in thanking and nominating your favourite businesses that help you enjoy some me time (and, to thank them on your behalf, I’m offering them a little gift of gratitude; a free 3 month membership to retreat society). For more information, keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram page!
Thanks for reading, thanks for subscribing and thanks for following the retreat society journey. I’m so grateful that you’re out there and I look forward to all that is to come in 2020 - the ups, the downs and the in-betweens, but most of all the lessons to be learnt!