Doing January Differently

I’m doing things differently this year.

stuffed animal cat black and white, smiling

January, with its wonderfully clean and fresh slate, always calls to us, tempts us to get it all together and correct all the wrongs and make all the changes we want to make and start working the plan, the schedule…all in January.

And after lifelong years of growing up with this societal/cultural message all around us, we can start to believe that however we start January is how the rest of the year will be…so we hustle and make ourselves crazy.

Well, some of us do.

On the flip side, some of us, with full awareness of the trappings of January, hide in our caves because it’s all just too overwhelming. (This actually aligns more with the energy of January, but more on this later.) What can often happen here is the extreme opposite of the former: we don’t do ANYTHING at all which then puts us into a rut.

Many of us have only just “un-rutted” ourselves from the pandemic.

stuffed animal cat, beige and orange colored

Neither spending January in a tizzy nor full-on "rutting it" is ideal.

We need to meet in the sweet spot somewhere in the middle.

And the middle will be different for each of us.

But first...

our perceptions of our dear January need a makeover.

January is indeed a time of rest.

stuffed animal cat, grey with black ears

Being a Winter month, the energy of the season brings with it much opportunity for reflection and inner awareness.

If we refrain from all the tugs and pulls to "hustle," we will hear a call towards things that refuel and refill our spiritual well. And these are things we can do to keep the energy moving gently to prevent stagnation.

So think: “a little, with a lot of love!”

I was on staycation from my day job and by the second week, when I started to hear the murmurings of what could refuel and refill my spiritual well.

I followed the call and started 🧵 hand sewing "crafty cats." (Even though "I don't sew!")

Here are a few of them.

group of stuffed animal cats all together

A few tips if you’re in a tizzy:

  1. ⏰ Set an alarm, with a gentle tone, that reminds you to breathe. Box breathing is a favorite for many - breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, rest for 4 counts and begin again. My go-to breathing exercise is taking a full deep breath, filling my lungs and then exhaling slowly, like air coming out of a tire. When I think there’s no more to exhale, I find just a tad more breath to release. For me, this is extremely releasing and calming to my nervous system.
  2. 📅 Take a look at your calendar and start moving things! You’ve probably overbooked and overcommitted. Schedule time to create more space in your calendar. If you think you can’t move something, really ask yourself if that’s actually true. What will happen if you move it?
  3. 😌 If you have a hard time relaxing in general, consider a meditation app where you can be guided on a 1 min - 10 min meditation and/or try our best-selling Calm blend.

A few tips to un-rut:

  1. ⏰ Set an alarm, with a fun, uplifting tone, that reminds you to breathe. Try an invigorating and energizing breathing exercise like taking 5 quick short breaths through your nose, each one filling your lungs and exhaling in the same way through your nose, 5 quick spurts of exhaling.
  2. 😸 Brainstorm and write a list of things you wish you had more time to do then look at the list and mark which ones bring you the most joy! These are the ones that will refuel and refill your well.
  3. 🌲 Take a walk in nature. Nature is always there for us to invigorate, clarify, and nature always tells the truth.

So however you’ve spent January thus far is okay because we do have another beautiful Winter month, February, right around the corner.

Tell me below in the comments how you've spent/are spending your January! I’d love to hear!

And don't forget to love yourself like you love your cat!

With Love and Above!

💌A few Love Notes: My partner, Toast and I, recorded a podcast episode that goes into more details about this 'different.' 🎧 You can listen using the audio player below, or wherever you get your podcasts.


Here's Bear my cat meeting a crafty cat 😻

a grey cat sniffs the ear of a stuffed animal cat
 And here's the crafty cat, "Dash," in his new home. I made him for a cat-loving friend 😻 and she made this video.


  • Sue Williams
    Oh how I love this blog post!. I have some scattered thoughts around it. In January where I live it is very snowy. Snow and snow-covered landscapes bring me deep calmness and joy. Most people love their days off in a warm, sunny place. Me too, but I also love snow days. This is the first new year that I have not made “resolutions.” Unless you count not making resolutions as a resolution. Lol! For me it’s a combination of experience (graceful aging) and search for serenity. In my observation, the cultural/societial tradition of making resolutions is not a negative, bc the practice has potential to guide people to introspection, a positive practice. At work, we were talking about how Winter here makes us feel like sleeping and eating more. One of my colleagues teaches Physical Education, he sees it in our students, he feels it in himself. While this need for more rest and calories can be a natural response to less sunlight and cooler temps, he and I agreed, the feeling of tiredness is not something people welcome. Judging by the use of all kinds of stimulants (coffee, junk food and energy drinks) we talked about the need for change. On a mental health facet, my daughter felt guilty for not being busy on her day off. She said she felt “unproductive.” But after burning the candle from both ends for a long time, her body was telling her to rest. Her thoughts about “not doing anything” however, were making her feel uneasy and she was not enjoying her time off. I told her being unproductive IS productive. So, yes, I agree with your premise and I think it’s especially spotlighted in January. Thanks for sharing your blog. Your beautiful, light, and calm energy is greatly appreciated and inspires me.
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Hi Sue! Wow, thank you so much for sharing your incredible insights with me and our readers! So much value here. And yes, being unproductive IS productive! I really loved hearing your thoughts and feelings and I so appreciate you sharing!

  • Lori

    You are so talented and crafty. You say that you don’t sew but look at those adorable kitties that you made! Wow. I am in awe of you and your talents. The way that you write, create, and love is inspiring!
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Hi Lori! This is the kindest comment! Thank you! And since we’re sharing, I am in awe of your commitment to health via your fitness routines AND yummy and healthy whole food creations!
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Also the MOST IMPORTANT: I love how you love your cats!! All the angel cats and now Asa!

  • Chery Rasmussen

    I’m so excited to see your handsewn kitties🐾💗🐾💗🐾
    What a brilliant way to bring in the new year focusing your thoughts and talents, to energize a new beginning
    Love Chery
    Especially love, the black and white kitty 🐾🐾🐾
    Love and Above Cat Club replied:
    Hi Chery! Aw, thank you so much for reading and for commenting. It’s been absolutely wonderful making these sweet cats!! The black and white one was made after an actual cat I know, Dash, who has been battling some health challenges. I thought making this kitty for him and his mom would be a nice way to send good vibes and good energy!

    <> Love & Above Cat Club Self-Care For Cat Lovers® <> <applewebdata://>

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published