Shannon Reed is an inspiring creative running her business Mockingbird Makes in East Dulwich. I met her networking at First Fridays and immediately snapped up one of her infamous unicorns for a gift! Shannon is a speaker on Creativity for wellness with over 15 years experience in creative innovation and personal development. She is also trained in Neuro-Linguistic programming and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction aswell as being a mum of two boys. Shannon has always been someone I look up to. She has openly spoken about how channeling her creativity through her business has helped her cope with her mental health. Who better to ask to guest blog and write a piece about coping with the January Blues. Now Christmas is over and spring/summer is a distant memory many of us can be left feeling deflated and out of sorts.
It gets reported every year that January is the saddest month of the year for Brits, what with the anticlimax to the huge Christmas build up, the empty banks accounts, lack of light and failed new years resolutions. The fact that the formula used to calculate “Blue Monday” was developed by research funded by Sky Travel in 2005 is much less reported!
But how would it be if you embraced this time of year instead, surrendered to the energy, instead of fighting it?
You could relish the rest you can take when you stay in to avoid spending money. You can consciously slow down and say hello to yourself - so important for knowing what you truly want from your coming year. Embrace the JOMO!!
Taking control of what you feed into your mind can be especially helpful at this time of year when gym and diet companies go into hyper-drive with the “you are not enough” messages. Avoid them and replace them with what you want your mind to know about yourself. Un-follow those who proffer these messages and follow the accounts that uplift you, as you are, right now. The New Year has a unique energy all of it's own that can be used for wonderful results - as long as those results are ones we really intrinsically want (if you’re unsure, look out for the “should”).
Self-compassion is not self-indulgence. Practiced well, self-compassion is a much stronger force than will power. Spend some of your "staying in time" listening or reading Kristen Neff and you’ll set yourself up for a wonderful year!
Yes, do get outside and exercise - not to "drop a dress size" but to connect with the beauty and rhythms of nature and rest your eyes on the greenery and light that helps bring us contentment. You could even do it with a friend and (gasp) connect in real life!
Be creative, always. It is our birthright, it makes our hearts sing, it is our humanness. Honour it in both big and little ways, every day.
The adrenaline high of Christmas might be gone but here is a gift of time to process all the love (and inevitable triggers!) you received and space to ground yourself in gratitude for the year to come.
Take time to take care of you because we need you. We need the uniqueness that only you possess.