New Year Blues

Well it's taken me to the end of January, beginning of February to wish you all a 'Happy New Year'!!!

Apologies but I've been quite swamped lately & writing blog posts have not been at the top of my list of things to do!

I do hope moving in to this new year things have gone smoothly for you? Now the days are starting to get that little bit longer & we've scraped past the dreaded 'Blue Monday' it's time to focus on the year ahead.

Although Covid is still in our lives it looks like things are moving in the right direction which is positive & I hope 2022 brings us all lots of health, happiness & good fortune.

I don't know about you but it's taking me some time to get back into life after the festive break! I've been really struggling with tiredness & brain fog over the past few months - thank you menopause!!!

This culminated in me doing a LOT of sleeping over the Christmas holidays & it's not been easy to get back to normal operating hours!!!

But I've been back to teaching my lovely students again which has helped me to regain some of my energy and focus.

Working with my art groups over the last few weeks, we've been saying goodbye to the old year & a tentative hello to 2022.

Although I think setting New Years Resolutions is a bit too much pressure to cope with, it's nice to give some thought to the year ahead & what we would like to accomplish. No matter how small these accomplishments are it's really satisfying to acknowledge our achievements.

So we've been discussing the things that worked for us last year, those that didn't etc by using these Year End Reflection prompts I found on Pinterest.

It's a few years old but nevertheless applies. It challenges us to think about parts of last year that perhaps weren't so good as well as those that were.

The students & I found this a really useful exercise so we can move forward in 2022 with some idea of positive things we would like to do, especially when related to our self care & mental health.

We did some soul searching, there were a few tears but all in all, it was a helpful session. Here's my piece of artwork.

Then the next week we started on setting our intentions for 2022. There are numerous journalling prompts on the internet so it can be a bit daunting but I started with some points from a really simple one:

I will strive to.....
I will honour.....
I will embrace......
I will let go of.....
I will remember.....
I will look forward to......

I find using journalling prompts a great way of getting my sludgy Covid/menopause addled brain moving & start to use these questions to inform future decisions that I make. I would really recommend giving them a go.

I was interested to check out my intentions from last year so I went back to my blog post from January last year. I can see just how much I DIDN'T take my own on board in 2021!!! What I didn't factor in was how much my menopause symptoms would increase & just how much it would affect me day to day.

My 3 essential daily self care intentions were (& still are tbh):

  • Yoga & meditation - I found that really hard to maintain & struggled to do much exercise from the summer onward. And surprise, surprise, I felt worse as a result. My stress levels remained high & I struggled to deal with my anxiety.

  • Being outdoors in nature - Being an outdoorsy person who hates being stuck in meant this was something I maintained but to a lesser degree than before. I got out most days but didn't walk far, my anxiety meant that I craved sitting somewhere quiet listening to the sounds of nature which was lovely but didn't help me get the exercise I needed.

  • Drawing - My intention was to take time for my own work & get in some much needed practice. This partially worked but there was a tendency to fill my days with doing work in readiness for workshops rather than my own work.

Now I've taken the time to look at these things that did or didn't work, I can think about how to add more to my daily routine. What can I adjust from my routine to work in 2022??

I would love to hear how you're doing & what changes/intentions you have for this coming year. So feel free to comment & we can inspire each other.

I've saved some intention setting journal prompt ideas for you in the blog Pinterest folder to give you some ideas/inspiration.