Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
February 02, 2010    

Getting past the January blues

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Amy Culver

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Getting past the January blues

Well, here we are at the start of February.  As always, January is a rough month for me.  It seems as though, no matter how hard I try to plan ahead, January always has its struggles.  I think most of it is just simple exhaustion.  I sleep a lot, particularly on the weekends.  While I spent most of November and December setting the alarm clock earlier and earlier in order to have enough hours to "get it all done," in January, I look forward to that day or two a week when I can just sleep until I feel like getting out of bed.

And yet, overall, this January was better than many past Januarys.  I did do my best to plan ahead and I was successful at most of it.  But one thing I did differently was to acknowledge the exhaustion and take care of myself.

For example, earlier in the month, I was feeling very overwhelmed with getting the Christmas decorations taken down and put away.  So, I sat down with my husband and we created a plan to work on it.  We broke it into workable segments spread over a couple of weeks.  Just knowing that there was a plan in place helped me to feel better and actually gave me a bit more energy to work on the task.

Many of us have the ridiculous habit of spending the last two to three months of the year making lists of all of the things we are going to do "after the holidays."  Then there is this sense that if we don't dig right in on January 2nd, we'll never get them all done.  But we need a bit of recuperation time.  Instead of the clean slate we pictured, we are faced with a house full of Christmas decorations to be dealt with, presents that need a new home and bodies that are tired from two or more months of frenetic pace.

Now, at the start of February, many folks may already feel as though they've "failed" at their resolutions, when in fact, they haven't even had a moment to get started on them.  There is nothing magic about the beginning of a new year.  It's just a date.  It's no different than March 24th or July 30th.  A new healthy lifestyle plan can start at any time. 

Life will always have its hurdles, no matter what the calendar says.  Valentine's Day, Easter, summer vacations, BBQ season, back to school schedules and guess what?  Along comes Halloween and it starts all over again.  Not to mention birthdays, anniversaries and all of the other celebrations and difficulties that occur in life.

Life is what happens while you are trying to get your act together.

Be patient and kind to yourself.  Don't set unattainable expectations.  If you needed to rest and get things back in order during January (like I did) then that's what you needed to do.  Make small changes, a little at a time.  Add in some activity such as taking a walk.  Eat smaller portions at dinner and save the rest for lunch tomorrow.  Eliminate one unhealthy habit or food.  Make a plan to add in additional changes mid-month. 

Go slow, listen to yourself and your body.  You'll be a lot more successful.


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