5 Ways to Shake off a New Year Funk

The sleepy haze that was the first week of January was more panic laced then hopeful. It was equal parts doing my best to temper down the pressure of what's next, and mourning the loss of what was. When a year comes to an end I've realized that, as a mother, I always follow a similar emotional wave - euphoric that it happened, devastated that it's over and terrified that it will never happen again. Because I truly do mourn the passing of time, the growing of children. As much as I would love to just take in the good - the health, the happiness, the fact that we were even able to have three children after so much in our way, I can't. So when a couple of weeks passed and I still felt swallowed whole by uncomfortable feelings I knew something had to change.

It took a few purposeful steps to ease myself into a feeling of comfort and promise and I am going to share the things I did that made the most difference.

5 Ways to Shake off a New Year Funk

First read a book that encourages you to do less, feel more and be nicer to yourself. I am reading and loving Super Attractor by Gabby Berstein (especially the idea that we don't have to do everything on our own - that instead the universe has our best intentions in mind), but other such books that have comforted me in the past include Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Sheryl Strayed. And just in case you read Super Attractor and want to dive into more vibration and universe talk, Frequency by Penny Peirce is another good one.

Second take up exercise that isn't punishing. Hello my name is Ashley and I can be so mean to myself. I'm sure I'm not alone in that thought. Having three kids can do a number to your body and I was already mean to it to begin with. I've always been thin but I've usually worked to keep things lean and well as tight as possible given the fact that the skin on my belly will never totally flatten out (did I mention I gained 75lbs when I was pregnant with our twins). So when it comes to exercise I usually subscribe to workouts that completely kick my ass. And they work. But in the spirit of being nicer to myself I crave something different. So I'm thinking about trying to do more kundalini yoga (My favourite Kundalini instructor), and turning my stroller naps with Ben into stroller jogs while he naps.

Third stay in bed an extra couple of minutes in the morning and think good thoughts, set some loose intentions... okay meditate. My sister swears by long stretches of meditation to cool her anxiety but with three children almost always demanding something from me, I have to take what I can. There are so many meditation apps out there but personally what I am doing is just laying there with my thoughts. I set an intention to have a little more fun, to not feel like I have to do ten million things every day and to expect good things to happen.

Fourth listen to a good podcast. While I understand that good podcast is going to mean different things to different people I have a few go-tos that speak to me. Modern Love is always good to trigger some big emotions. The Line by the Ashley Wood is really working for me right now.

Fifth style something. Strange you may be thinking - so I will get right to it. I styled a credenza while sipping wine and I finally felt whole again. If that doesn't scream interior obsessed, I'm not sure what does. And I think the key to how much I enjoyed this small task is that I did it because I wanted to do it. I'd already styled it on New Years eve when I swallowed back tears while taking down the tree. But that version was quick and it was fine but the new version was just for me.

Normally when I style something these days I am at war with what I want to do, what I feel like will best perform on Instagram and on this blog (because I'm a slave to the numbers) and what I actually have in this house to use. And I think that's why I loved this new version so much because I flipped through an old magazine and tore out a picture to use in the frame and then instead of removing everything to start with a blank slate, I shifted and turned and dusted and lit candles until it felt like I was getting somewhere. Then I looked up @kate.lavie on Instagram and did a once over on her shelves. Her #shelfie game is the strongest on the gram (in my opinion) and I love her pastel style mixed with plants. Sure enough after one small tweak that I got from one of her pics, the whole credenza was feeling so much better. It was as simple as taking a vertical and horizontal grouping of books and turning them all to vertical. Voila. Counterbalance for my lamp. It also gave me the perfect excuse to head out and acquire two new pothos plants

To cap off this complete ramble of a first post for 2020 I will tell you this. If you happen to subscribe to the notion of a word of the year I will admit to you that last year I proclaimed that "less" would be my word. I would do less, enjoy more. Well the opposite happened so this year I urge you to be word free, or not (as long as you have zero expectations for follow through). Instead, believe in yourself just a little bit, trust your gut instinct and just try that something that has been nagging at you because the one thing that I learned this past year is that if you take action the universe will respond.

hello 2020.


  1. “I set an intention to have a little more fun, to not feel like I have to do ten million things every day and to expect good things to happen.”
    This really spoke to me. Thank you for this post!


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