3 Tips for Finding Balance in January - Kathryn Bruni-Young
  • January 8, 2017
  • Kathryn

Last week I read something that said January is the most depressing month of the year, and in particular the third Monday of the month is actually called Blue Monday. As a western culture, in the first month of the year, we usually go from over eating, to setting a weight loss goal, setting a lifestyle goal that is often times unaccessible and trying to think of ways in which we can be better. Which leads us to the idea that we are not great already, and that doing something different will make us better people, more attractive, more whole, the list could go on. To put the icing on the cake, many of us, especially in Canada live in a -20 ice box, which doesn’t do wonders for motivation and happy thoughts.


January is a month where our nervous systems begin to feel the effects of December. When we think of the autonomic nervous system, we sometimes think of automatic wiring that we can’t easily change. However, there are ways in which we can work with our nervous systems, to re-wire ourselves for less destructive behaviour and deeper relaxation.


Here are a few ways to restore and fight against a month that can often times be hard.


  1. Get rid of things in your home that no longer bring happiness in your life. This can be tough, and sometimes confronting, but what can you get rid of? When we live with less items, we automatically want less items. When we want less things, we usually look for pleasure and connection with other people and community. This can be as simple as spending an afternoon in your bedroom, hopefully with a friend, rather than a glass of wine 🙂
  2. Lie down on the floor. Last week I wrote about restoring the neck, and I will stand by this for one more week. Neck exercises help to decompress the traps, shoulders, jaw and brain. Feeling better has to come from both the inside and the outside.
  3. Breathing as a practice. Rather than taking a few deep breaths when you feel revved up, do the opposite, take a few very quiet, small breaths, breathe as little volume as you can comfortably. Deep breathing, although popular in our culture, brings more life into the sympathetic nervous system, its’ one of the worst things you can do for anxiety and stress. As you breathe, let the belly relax and feel the belly, waist, back ribs and pelvis moving. Allow for less air to move through you, but be more mindful of how your body is breathing.

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