As the longest, coldest month of the year draws to an end, the most romantic month of the year approaches, the gift-buying pressure and the ‘having a perfect day’ worries continue for many people.
We can all be a little susceptible to the pressures around us this season. From the urge to lose our festive weight and hit our New Year goals flying, to the worry about getting Valentine’s Day ‘right’, or about flying solo in February – there’s a lot going on.
But, you know, these pressures aren’t all that ‘real’. To some degree they only matter as much as we allow them too. So a little like the monster under your childhood bed; if you pay them less attention, they will matter less to you.
So, where to focus instead?
If it’s not romantic love, then social media is pointing us towards self-love. And that certainly has its merits. But what if it all feels a little too much? Maybe you just want to feel happy without it being another thing to over-think. If that’s you, then you are not weird for feeling that way, and you are certainly not alone.
I’m a big fan of the little every day things. That quiet five minutes with your coffee before the kids get up. That early morning dog walk. The winter sunshine heating up your windowsill and making the world look magical.
I think a great way to get through any pressured time or stressful season, is to focus on the small things.
It’s those little things that we can all enjoy, without any pressure, and without any cost associated with them. These little moments of joy are typically unplanned, and therefore nobody gets the chance to stress about making them ‘perfect’ – they just are what they are.
There is no gift-buying pressure here. No wardrobe worries or awkward first-date small talk. These little, everyday moments of joy are pockets of peace in a hectic world. They are the best part of the day, as far as I’m concerned.
When you find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, or a little bit done in with the season, then go and find yourself a quiet little moment of joy. They are literally everywhere.
Take a walk, take a breath, enjoy a hot drink in the winter sunshine – or a cuppa by the radiator if it’s raining!
You could associate this with gratitude, mindfulness, or both. Or you could just call it life. The name you give it isn’t important. What is important is that you find something small and simple to enjoy, as often as you like.
Enjoy the small things, and go easy on yourself. And you know what, spring is just around the corner!