Happy New Year…And so we come to the end of another year, but only according to the Gregarian calendar. In Chinese culture the new year isn’t until the 25th January. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between 21 January and 20 February. The Chinese year is based on the cycle of the moon as well as on Earth’s course around the sun, unlike our calendar that follows only the sun. A month on the Chinese calendar is 28 days long, and a normal year lasts from 353 to 355 days. To keep the calendar in sync with the sun and the seasons, the Chinese add an extra leap month about once every three years. 2020 is the year of the Rat. Rats are clever, quick thinkers, successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life. Sounds good to me.
I don’t believe in new year resolutions
Why make or break potentially life changing habits on a day of the year when you are most likely exhausted? Wouldn’t it better to start something new in the Spring when you have more time, energy and money? In any case, energetically the 1st day of January is the wrong time of year to start anything new. We are still in the midst of winter, the most Yin time of year when everything about nature is contracted and still. The Chinese new year is closer to the Spring, the true time of change and new beginnings.
But before I run the risk of being accused of being a health Scrooge, and seeing as it is New Year’s Eve, here’s a couple of things you might want to consider adding to your morning regime. Just a couple of small changes could make all the difference to how you feel for the rest of the day.
1. Start the day with a positive thought
As I’ve said many times in this blog, Qi goes where the Mind goes. If your thoughts are scattered then so will be your Qi. Get out of bed on the right side: be grateful you have awakened to experience another day. Spend 5 minutes meditating on the day ahead
2. Lemon juice and water
Kick start your metabolism and digestive system with a glass of yin and yang water – this is one half hot from the kettle, one half cold from the tap or bottle. In Chinese medicine we say that the stomach prefers warm foods and liquids. Too cold or too hot affects the digestive process. Studies have also shown the benefit of a squeeze of lemon in the morning too, to prevent acid build up and balance the ph levels in the gut.
3. Take a some deep breathes in the morning
Before eating breakfast, loosen up with Qi gong or Yoga. These ancient arts are not by accident based on movement with breath. In Chinese Medicine the Lungs are paired with the Large Intestine (Colon), both of which are organs that deal with the processing of waste. A morning routine of Qi gong will not only make you fitter, it will also get your bowels moving with that morning coffee!
4. Breakfast like a Queen/King
According to the Chinese Clock the Stomach and Spleen are at their strongest between the hours of 7 and 11 a.m., so this is when we should be having our largest meal. In the UK we traditionally have our largest meal in the evening between 7 and 11 p.m. when the digestive system is at it’s weakest!
Start your day as you mean to go on.
If things don’t go to plan don’t think of it as failure; tomorrow is another day, just try again. The easiest way to make change happen is to make your actions habitual. Do the same thing at the same time every day until it seems odd if you don’t do them. But don’t take my word for it, give it a go and see how you feel. In the immortal words of Victor Kiam, “I liked it so much, I bought the company!”
Happy New Year to all my clients, old and new, and everyone who has supported me throughout the year. I wish you all happiness and good health. Steve