Monthly Columns

January Joy: New Year; New You?


I want to lend some spiritual advice to all those bombarded with the inevitable January blast of “New Year, New You” thinking. There’s a lot of advertising out there telling you that you need to change. Here’s what I think.

You don’t need to go on a diet. Unless a medical professional tells you different, or you genuinely want to for your own reasons, you are fine as you are.

You don’t need to buy new sports gear. If you want to, great! But don’t be pressured or guilt tripped into it.

You don’t need a crazy new exercise routine. Exercise is amazing. It boosts endorphins, it makes you feel good about yourself and it can be a social experience- or a solitary, reflective one if you like walking through the woods like me. However, what you do to exercise doesn’t need to get suddenly ramped up in January. Did you eat a lot over the holidays? Good, that’s what you’re supposed to do. Solstice, Yuletide; however you celebrate, it’s about coming together and celebrating what you have by consuming a large amount of it! If you’ve put on weight, it’s to keep you warm throughout the winter months. Exercise as much or as little as you normally would, or gradually increase. It can be bad for you to suddenly shock your body with a new and vigorous workout routine. Be kind to yourself.

Sales! Sales are amazing. But do you really need another five leather bound spell notebooks? That alder wand? Ten more pairs of crystal earrings because they have 10% off on Etsy? Okay, okay, many of these things just call to us! But try and remember, the planet needs us to buy less. It needs us to ship less. It needs us to lower our carbon footprint. And you probably have some amazing things you can reuse or repurpose. Plus, finding yourself suddenly poor halfway through January can be intensely depressing.

Resist advertising. Resist the pressure from peers to be better, get fitter, be more spiritually aware via things you have to buy.

The price for December’s joy is not January’s misery.


About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors & Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.