And so the year has come full circle, and here we are in 2021.
January is generally seen as the saddest month of the year – with the festivities gone, and springtime still quite a way off, what’s to look forward to now? Add to that the fact that we are still very much plunged in the upheavals and woes which 2020 regaled us with, and this run-up to Blue Monday on 18th January could be the gloomiest on record.
Of course, the key word in that last sentence is could… because we still do have the power to reverse that. How? By tapping into the Superpower of Appreciation!
So let’s start a list of things we love (like? tolerate?) about winter. This is my own list – feel free to object to any items, change them, and/or add your own!
The homely cosiness: warm pyjamas, dressing gowns, hot drinks, blankets, fluffy socks…
The dark evenings are an opportunity to light candles, read, meditate, write and reflect.
Less sunshine in the house means my duster can take a rest a bit more often…
I sleep better in this season. My biological clock appreciates the darkness.
Colourful jumpers and winter dresses!
A truce in the constant battle to stay on top of my gardening.
I’m sure I could find more points, but the length of the list is not as important as the underlying feeling of appreciation. Re-read your own list now, and feel your heart purring. Enjoy that warm, contented, gentle purring.
And while we are purring away, why not consider starting a gratitude practice this year? Gratitude journaling has been very much flavour of the month lately, but it’s nothing airy-fairy or faddy – not one bit! Some of the science-backed benefits of gratitude include making us happier (by raising our mood set point), improving self-esteem, reducing depression, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep and enhancing our immune system. Not bad, is it?
In order to reap the benefits, all we have to do is regularly journal about, list or simply call to mind two or three things we appreciated in our day. It doesn’t need to be anything major: the sun on your face, the book you’re reading, the little conversation you had at work. Everything is meaningful, if we let it.
If you’re interested in the research into the effects of gratitude, this well-referenced article from the Greater Good Science Center is an excellent place to start: Gratitude Definition | What Is Gratitude (berkeley.edu)