by Chanda Hinman
The Holiday parties and excitement are gone, but the short, dark days and second rounds of flu remain. Compounding the stuffy noses and sluggish days are failing New Years’ resolutions, the blur of December, and the resulting panic that 2015 is just beginning, but we’re already behind. Simply put, we’re stuck in January and we’ve got a long road to Spring.
My friend calls these times “the Jan-Febs.” And it’s not just the cold; after all, I’m in California. The Jan-Febs are a heavy, post-Holiday mood. And despite the “New Year, New You” platitudes and inspirational Facebook posts, it’s okay if it all just seems a little lackluster. This is a slower time, when solitude can be your warm friend and soft companion. Be kind to yourself and embrace every turning season, including the bare branches and dark skies of winter. You’re right where you need to be.
Plus, there’s good news in all the darkness. You don’t have to do 45 minutes on the stair master or go to that super advanced yoga class today. To pick yourself up during the darkest winter months, here are two ways to reach the simple goal of just moving your body.
First, get outside! Breathe the clean winter air and spring your step towards regeneration. Go for a stroll. If that feels good, try something my husband taught me - play on your walk. Skip and do some bunny hops or play in the snow. Before you know you it, you’ve given yourself a mini workout. Besides, it's impossible not to smile while skipping or wrapping up on the couch with post-workout satisfaction.
Second, don’t give in to the temptation to cancel your Pilates sessions in the next couple of months (unless you’re contagious). Tell your instructor in advance if you aren't feeling 100% and ask him or her to tailor your session towards just moving. My Pilates instructor knows that my favorite workout when I'm feeling low is a super stretchy Cadillac session.
In these tough winter months, let your mind and body rewind for a bit, acknowledge where you are, where you’ve been and know that Spring is around the corner. Just keep on moving, and your reward is a hot shower, a warm blanket, and toasting your favorite movie with a hot toddy warming your hands. It turns out that the Jan-Febs are the coziest season of all.