You did it! You survived the first month of the new year. Did you start all those resolutions you made last month? Pick up that new hobby? Did you start everything with vigor and now have found yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed and worn out? You’re not alone.
It’s estimated that 80% of all New Year Resolutions fall by this month. That shouldn’t be shocking considering what you’ve been putting your mind, body, and self through in the months leading up to making them. It’s why we at MySoulrenity didn’t bother to reel you in with yet another thing to read last month, we knew you were swamped.
So first, let’s take a big breath in…did you do that? Good, now let it out. Feel that little release in your body? You probably need recharging not resolutions. Read ahead to see if you recognize the signs saying you need rest and restoration.
Your sleep schedule is off
Some of us are early risers (not me!) and some is thrive at night. For some of us a nightly rest consists of just a measly 4 hours! That’s a part time shift of sleep! Even if you aren’t dipping into the low single digits of dream time you still might feel a bit lacking with what you are getting. Sleep is the biggest boost we can give our entire selves and what will affect all the other signs that you need more.
When we skip out on slumber we are literally depriving ourselves the chance to work on all those “little” things in the background. That’s what is keeping the machine, that is your body running smoothly. Regulation of blood helps keep the heart healthy. Your immune system will run at its peak and a good night’s sleep can even help regulate your appetite, and more.
If you’ve been giving yourself less than 7 hours of sleep you’ve been missing out on the basic foundation to feeling full of energy. You owe to yourself to put down the electronics after a certain hour, tuck in and plug out to a good night’s sleep.
You are craving “bad” foods
It all started when someone (no finger pointing) decided to bring candy in the office for Halloween and it never stopped. Candy, cookies, cold leftovers, jams, jellies, eggnog, and probably lots of cheese has been consumed since then. Were you like many and overindulged? “It’s just one candy cane”, or was “The last piece of fruitcake”? Don’t fret, even if you think you’ve put on a little extra surrounding the holidays it is probably not as bad as you think.
It was well believed that we gained 5 pounds in the weeks surrounding the end of the year. Now we know it’s mostly bloat from all the carbs and sugar. Our body stores much of it as glycogen, a fast-acting energy source, explains registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge, a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. Every glycogen molecule hoards water, thus “the bloat” begins.
Certain foods can increase your metabolism
Step away from mindless munching, immediate seconds, unnecessary sugary cocktails, and really savor your meals. Resist the urge to grab them to go, take the time to enjoy them.
The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn. This means the easier you maintain your ideal body whatever size that may be. So think protein rich foods: fish and seafood, nuts, and eggs. There’s also metabolic boosters: fruits and veggies, green tea, ginger and cayenne pepper, and my favorite, just plain ol’ water.
You are re-watching/re-reading things
Are you finding all your favorite television and movie apps just aren’t keeping you interested? Are you on a rerun binge? Keep picking up the same book but not making any noticeable progress? That’s probably because as I mentioned earlier your sleep cycle is off but even if it isn’t, it could be a sign your mind is ready for a rest. The end of the year in our minds is often thought of as our “last chance” to do things and tie up the loose ends before entering a new year.
It’s no wonder brain fog sets in
Aside from parties, work functions, family interactions, gift giving, to-do list making and more we still have to do our normal routine. But this isn’t anything new so here’s how to combat it: minimize the stress in your life (bye bye crazy Aunt Sally), drink less (yes you’re noticing a theme here), eat healthier options (see above), don’t give in to sleeping more, trust us, it’ll mess with your cycle (see above) and above all else, take real breaks from things. Find a few minutes to sit in a low stimulation environment to center yourself and focus only on your controlled breathing and not what emails you need to read or what other tedious things you need to do.
You have been unusually moody
It’s not just that the weather is shifting into the next season it’s more than that. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but your sleep hygiene and what you put into your body really matters! Your body is always detoxing; so when you overeat certain foods and drinks (holiday punches, sweets, Grandma’s pie) it could overload your system and make you more moody.
That’s why eating better will help your body release itself of metabolic toxins and connected with environmental exposure and processed foods and beverages. Don’t skip meals and choose healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar regulated. If you identify certain situations cause you to more quickly reach the end of your rope step back, allow the feelings to happen, reach out for support if you need it and then resume back to the healthier choices.
Chinese Medicine says that different emotions are actually related to different organs (i.e. liver to anger). Did you ever notice how your breath quickens when you’re in fear, or how your heart begins pounding when you’re angry? Emotions certainly are expressed physically, and they can be stored as well, that’s why it’s important to not let your ‘storage’ get too full.
Your body is not cooperating
Feeling sluggish? Noticing dry skin? Unusually achy? When you’re very exhausted, it can be tempting to just sit in front of the TV after a long day. But that usually just makes you feel more tired.
Instead of sitting down to recharge, try getting up and moving around. Walking or biking — even just for 20 minutes — can leave you feeling energized for hours. The more we give into the voice that says “I’ll do it tomorrow” the further away tomorrow gets. Start stretching even only for 5 minutes a day to get your body feeling recharged. If you can, join a weekly yoga or fitness class.
Treat the outside just as good
You could slip into a simple bath with a couple of tablespoons Epsom salt which is often used as as a home treatment for aches, pain and swelling. If you want to get really fancy, you can add few drops of lavender or sage oil. These both are believed to be particularly relaxing to those under stress. You can even just massage a tiny amount directly onto the body, rubbed on the wrists or diffused into the air.
Holidays aside we each need recharging and refueling with what’s good for us on a regular basis. Often we get stuck in our routines, put things off, and in general back burner the most important thing we have to do, self care. These signs may crop up often or only at certain times but it’s important you can identify them as soon as you experience them to get yourself back on the road to your centered journey.