We’d just gotten home from celebrating Christmas with family when my daughter said, “Christmas night feels so final, like everything is over until next year.”
I told her I understood, that I used to feel the same way. Then, I shared how I move past the sadness by telling myself Christmas day is actually the beginning of the twelve days of Christmas.
Then, my husband joked, “What do you tell yourself on January 6th…after the twelve days is over?”
“I tell myself it’s time to get back to ordinary days,” I answered.
And that’s exactly what I intended to do this week. Except settling back into a daily routine has been harder than I expected.
- On Monday I took down all the Christmas decor.
- I decorated on Tuesday; switching up the throw pillows in the living room, rearranging the books on the bookshelves, and creating winter floral arrangements as I reset my home for ‘back to ordinary’.
- I don’t know what happened to Wednesday. I’d set it aside for writing, but I didn’t write a single word. After sleeping in until the afternoon, I cooked dinner and watched Same Kind of Different as Me with my parents. I went to bed planning to write on Thursday.
- Instead, I woke up in time for dinner Thursday evening. After eating leftover pasta, I moved into the study, opened my computer and made myself start writing.
- By Friday, I got up early, did a quick yoga routine, put on makeup, went to a mastermind meeting, and came home to write some more. But all I wanted to do was take a nap.
I slowly began to realize I’d expected to jump right in to a winter daily routine after the New Year. But that’s not what January is for.
I understood January for the first time while walking the dog the other night. I’ve enjoyed the amber glow of the street lights before, but then a gentle breeze blew over me as I took in that familiar glow. My soul instantly recognized the moment as an invitation to slow down. I was powerless against its gentle allure.
“Alright, I surrender” I responded.
My New Winter Daily Routine
I’m letting myself wake up slowly with the help of a light therapy lamp that sits on my nightstand. The light helps my body acclimate to the shorter days and longer nights.
Instead of mindlessly making my way into the kitchen to eat the same breakfast I eat everyday: Dr. Pepper and a Greek yogurt, I slow down to sip one of my favorite hot drinks and enjoy a warm slice of buttered toast with jelly.
Either before or after breakfast, I get out my yoga mat and choose a yoga routine to stretch muscles that are tight from being constantly curled up under blankets.
Then, I move on to more ordinary things, like getting dressed and doing laundry. As for the rest of it, what gets done, gets done. What doesn’t, doesn’t. I can take a nap if I want to. Or curl up with a good book, or enjoy some hot chocolate.
I like to end the day by taking my dog with me to check the mail. It gives both of us a chance to get some fresh air and move around a little bit.
I’ve been surprised by ordinary. I find myself relishing in the decadence of daily life. And, for the first time maybe ever, I’m looking forward to the rest of January.
Wishing the same for you,
p.s. Here’s my affiliate link to the light therapy lamp if you’re interested. It’s worth checking out if you struggle with the winter blues.