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New Year is almost a month away now, but have we got it wrong?

Every year I feel this sense of excitement and anticipation about the coming new year. I don’t believe that making resolutions is helpful, but I do like to do some planning for the coming year, to journal about things I would like to achieve and I always write a kind of bucket list of things I want to achieve this year.

Then January comes around and by the time I have got the kids back to school it is time for my son and husband’s birthdays, then I take my daughter back to University and before I know it, it is almost February and I have done a fraction of the things I intended to do. None of my new habits have really had a look in, I have achieved very little. 

What’s more, I know I am not alone in this. I constantly see blog posts, Youtube videos and social media posts saying the same thing. So, my question is, have we got New Year wrong?

On Thursday it is Imbolc. For those of you not familiar with this festival it is a Celtic/Pagan festival marking the end of Winter and the start of the growing season. The half way point between the winter soltice and the vernal equinox. It celebrates the returning light. 

This for me feels like the perfect time for me to start my year. It is getting lighter, the spring bulbs are beginning to burst into life and my body begins to feel a little less like hibernating!

Human hibernation?

A few years ago I read the brilliant book, Wintering by Katherine May.  Ridiculously, this was the first time I had heard someone openly discussing something that I had felt for a long time. In winter we need more rest, we need to hibernate. 

I thought it was just because I am a fire sign and always feel energised by the sunshine and warm weather. I have always hated being cold and find it much harder to be productive if I am cold.

human hibernation

The image above is how I feel during the winter months. I just want to be cosy and warm and drink hot drinks and read good books until it ends. As the days get longer and the garden begins to burst back into life I begin to wake up again and my productivity and creativity slowly returns. 

Of course, the fact that we are much more likely to be ill during the winter months, we are more likely to eat comfort food and we don’t get outside as much, all contributes to this feeling of hibernation. We are often forced to maintain our daily routines, and if we don’t have to, we feel we should. Even though scientists have proven that we need more sleep during the winter. It is a time of year filled with parties and socialising, which tires us out even more. Then we get bombarded by the “New year, new you” brigade and it is overwhelming.


My new New Year

I would like to propose that if you struggle with January, as many people do, that we call Imbolc, the 1st February, our new year. We accept that we need January to recover and cope with the dark, cold weather, and we start our intentions and productivity schedule in February. Release any guilt you may hae around January lacking focus and productivity and embrace it for what it is, a necessary period of hibernation for those of us in the colder climes of the northern hemisphere.

So, Happy New Year and I hope that 2024 is a wonderfully happy and productive year for you, and that you achieve everything that will make you feel truly fulfilled. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do get in touch, I think there are a lot of people who are beating themselves up for feeling this way, and actually it is perfectly natural and normal.


 Reading recommendations:

Human hibernation

Life is a rollercoaster


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