Do you have any New Year’s day rituals?
Do you make New year’s resolutions?
Do you keep them?
For many people the past year has been a particularly rough one. 2020 has certainly bought some challenges. For some they have been financial, for some emotional. Lockdowns have challenged people to different degrees all around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have died.
For this reason the rituals around New Year’s Day may seem more important than ever this year.
The main one for me is always about the resolutions. What can I aim for this year that will make my life better? In the past I have gone for things to change the way I look or to change my finances, but not this year. This year is all about a year of Self Care for me. I don’t mean the sort of self care that lets you enjoy a bubble bath with candles and whale music, I mean the real stuff.
Imagine you came with a care manual – like a car or a house plant. Nothing too complex, but with some simple instructions that will help you keep your self in top condition. You know the kind of thing..
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight without protection
Drink at least 3l of water a day
Needs regular exercise
Must be switched off for at least 8 hours in every 24
Do not allow toxins to enter
Only fuel with top grade material
Now this list might seem a bit basic, but be honest with yourself….are you following these guidelines? Are you getting enough sleep? Eating and exercising right? Properly taking care of yourself?
At it’s most fundamental level this is what self care is, and it’s what I’m going to be aiming for this year. Yes it may get more nuanced and elaborate as I get control of these basics, but this is my starting point.
So what does this mean for me right now? It means I’m cutting out caffeine, refined sugar, salt, most meat, processed food and refined carbs. It means I’ll be doing Yoga and workouts daily. It means I’ll be going to bed earlier.
I’ve discussed this with a few people and the reactions I got have really surprised me – people seem to think I’m going to be putting myself through hell! Let’s hope it’s not as bad they think and that the feedback my body gives me will support the changes.
Another ritual that took my fancy this year was one of letting the old year out. This year when I awoke, I opened all the windows and doors and swept through the house. it was freezing and a bit of an odd thing to do, but I really enjoyed the feeling it gave me. I started the year with a positive intention of letting go of last year and starting fresh.
Working on a similar theory, I then showered. I washed with the intention of washing away all the worries and concerns of the last year and starting with a clean slate. When I dried myself I covered myself in beautifully scented body lotion. As my hands moved over each part of my body I tried to be positive about my wobbly bits and give love to my scars and lumps. They are all part of me and I am blessed to have them ( even if they could do with a little more self care) and so am grateful. As well as setting me off on a clean and positive path, the scent from the lotion has been a reminder throughout the day that I am caring for this body that houses me.
Next came a walk in the woods. My little monster of a dog, Morrigan, likes to go out early. As a result we were well into our walk when the sun came up. Although it was a grey, overcast and frozen day, the change from darkness to light felt very symbolic and meaningful and is something I shall be reminded of each morning when we go for our stroll. It’s a daily reminder that the dawn always follows the dark and that everything has it’s time. Days roll on, then weeks, then months, then years. This too shall pass. It also reminded me of something that Captain Sir Tom Moore ( the amazing fundraiser of 2020 ) said…
‘Tomorrow will be a better day’
The hope (and expectation) of a brighter tomorrow is usually enough to keep us moving forward, even in the hardest of times.
These are my traditions. Feel free to adopt them if they feel like they work for you.
If you have any I would be fascinated to learn about them – drop me a line in the comments to let me know about them/