In the retail world we are pushed to jump quickly from season to season. It goes against my desire to linger in the moment. I don’t want to line my shelves with spring decor just yet. I want to settle into the comforting days of winter that lay ahead. I want to take advantage of the early evenings to slow down…light a candle, pour a cup of tea and snuggle up under a cozy blanket. I want to start a new journal and read an extra chapter of my book. I want to reflect on the year that has been and look toward the new year with intention. Spring can wait! This year I challenge us all to listen to what we need. What we desire and to slow down for what really matters.
Here are a few of my favourite tips:
1. Set intention
I was recently encouraged to visualize what I want in order to work towards achieving it. The logic is, if you are vague about what you want, it becomes difficult to achieve. So instead of saying “I want to be happy”, be more specific. What would make you happy? What does “happiness” look like to you? Visualize it and write it down. Which leads me to my next point:
I know…slightly cliche and many of us have been there and done that. However, the idea is less about journaling and more about mental health. I began this habit a few years back and it has become the most helpful tool in my mental health toolkit! The writing does not have to be fluid or sensical, it is simply an unloading of ideas and thoughts…you must write down everything that pops into your mind. You are essentially releasing pent-up or chaotic thought. According to Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, your job is to fill out three full pages every morning and this must be done the good old-fashioned way: with paper and pen. You’ll thank me, I promise!
3. Meditate or pray
In my mind, these are one and the same, so regardless of your religious status, this is possible for everyone. Take a quiet moment daily to LISTEN and be GRATEFUL. Even when things are as bad as they can be, there is room for gratitude. Things we take for granted, like breathing, or mobility. There is always something to be grateful for; don’t ever lose sight of that.
4. Be kind
This one is a no-brainer. I tell my kids this every day on their way out the door. “Do something nice for someone today”. Kindness is so underrated. Studies show that acts of kindness are as good for you as they are for the person receiving them, so spread the love. This world needs more kindness.
Yes…we all know this but honestly, it matters. Even stepping outside for a short walk around the block is beneficial. Set your goals realistically so they can be achievable. But whatever you do decide, DO IT!
I wish everyone all the best for 2024