In the bleak midwinter

Happy New Year to you! Raring to go?

While New Year is a positive time it’s also a bit grey and a bit dark, and despite (at least theoretically) having had a rest over the festive season, we tend to be a bit low on energy at this time of year. When you’ve taken the decorations down, ‘disposed of’ the last of the Quality Street and celebrated the rubbish being collected (at last!), what’s left can be, well, a little depressing.

So here are four massively useful and easy ways to keep your Qi flowing during January and beyond:

1. Get outside

Heaven knows there are few enough hours of daylight available in the Northern Hemisphere when we’re leaning so far away from the sun, but make the most of them. Go and post that letter. Walk to the supermarket for the onion you need for tonight’s dinner. Spend a bit of time tidying the garden ready for spring – you’ll not only be outside, you’ll be connecting with the earth too. Breathe deep, open your eyes wide.

2. Get rid

The bins have been collected. Hooray! What’s left? An empty bin. Fill it. Spend an hour or two letting go of the clutter and detritus of the tail end of 2017 and give yourself a clean slate. Only throw away what you can’t recycle or rehome. You’ll find it allows you to relax more, body and mind – essential for your wellbeing during the winter months.

3. Get moving

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: now is not the time for strenuous exercise. Winter is a time of storage and for conserving energy for spring. That doesn’t mean doing nothing, though. Keep the flow going. Why not try a local Qigong or Tai Chi class? These are beautiful disciplines based on moving Qi around the body, nourishing body and soul. You will thank yourself for it.

4. Get some sleep

Make like a moomin. Wrap up warm and make friends with your duvet. In an ideal world we’d be waking with the dawn and going to sleep when the sun goes down, but failing that making sure you get enough sleep is essential for good health at this time of year. Introduce a winding-down routine in the evening, maybe having a warm bath and then reading a book before turning off the light. And remember: no screens in the bedroom. Get enough sleep now, and when spring comes around you’ll be bouncing like Tigger.

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