Jules and Louis Blog - How To Start The New Year Calm and Mindful

With the holidays finally being over, a new sparkling year awaits us. I don't know about you, but the holidays are always a bit chaotic in our family. It is all about visiting family and celebrating. Since my family doesn't really live close to us, we drive all the way up there to celebrate together during the holidays. So you can understand it can become a bit stressful to starting the new year calm and mindful, exactly what I try to be after having my burn-out. 

If you're also looking for ways to start your new year more calm and mindful than you thought it could be, here are 7 ways how:

1. Find a word

Finding a word for the new year can help you be the guideline for the things you want to keep remembering but you sometimes forget. It is there for backup or to help you stay motivated throughout the new year. It can be anything, but it definitely helps you stay more grounded and calm. My word was change in 2015 (and boy, did a lot things change for me that very year...) and shine in 2016 (where I learned after a very long time how to finally shine and that after rain always comes sunshine). 

I have done my fair share of reflecting the last days of December and I came up with a strong, short word. Me. In 2017 I want to focus more on myself. On how to take more care of myself. Self-Love. It is so important, it is what we women seem to forget the first. To take care of ourselves. I learned from last year that when you stop caring about the things you really love doing, you lose yourself and it just makes you feel miserable. So it is a good intention to focus more on myself when things get rough. To focus more on my own breath, to do what I love.

2. Get your paperwork on track

Clear out the clutter, classify all the documents you won't be needing anymore and chances are you will step into the new year with a much clearer head. Paperwork that still needs to be tackled in the new year will only provide more stress. And that is what we don't want, right? Still working on those things right now... Ha!

3. Clear out your closet

I'm talking about your wardrobe. Yes, I'd love to simplify my own closet more. It is so frustrating to lose about 15 minutes of your precious time standing in front of your wardrobe and thinking "what should I wear today?". It would be more simple and easier to know what you will be wearing that day if you hadn't too many choices, right? I'm guilty as charged... I also have such a wardrobe where I have so many clothes I really don't know what to wear. And that's a pity. It would be much easier to just have the clothes hanging in your closet you're actually going to wear.

4. Brew up some bliss

And with freshly brewed bliss I mean a cup of fresh tea. It picks you up instantly and when you brew the tea with focused attention, it positively influences your mood and concentration too. Why not enjoy more these little moments in time when brewing a cup of tea? It is so delicious. I got a few new packages of fresh loose tea for my birthday and I'm admitting: you can so taste the difference between a fresh cup of loose tea and a bag of tea. It makes me feel better, don't ask me why. :-)

5. Smile

Simply smile more. Life is so short, and there are so many things to be happy about! I even read somewhere that even though you're not feeling so happy, smiling will pick you up because your brain doesn't know the difference between an intentional smile or a spontaneous one. And you might even get a smile back when you smile more. It would be so much more pleasant to start our days, no?

6. Groove is in your heart

Dance around in your kitchen or living room every once in a while on a groovy tune. Dance like no one's watching. Music is medicine, like they say.

7. Get creative

Get crafty and start to draw, paint or colour whatever you feel like. It is another thing that really helped me to calm down. Getting creative and getting into that "flow" where you don't hear or see anything, is super helpful. It is the best meditation after meditation, if you get me. Even if you feel you're not that creative, just create something. Even if it is doodling in your notebook. Just get something out of you, you'll feel proud of yourself. It is not about what you create, it is the process of creating itself that makes you happier. So why not get creative more?

What are your tips on how to be more mindful and calm in the new year? Did you already find your word for 2017? Or did you set some intentions or goals you want to reach? I'd love to hear from you!