• Oriana van der Sande

Slowing Down

Half a year ago I wrote the blog post you can read below. My intention for this year was to slow down. And oh, boy, didn't we all slowed down due to Covid-19 world wide. I am sure I am not a clear voyant. Just like you I was a bit shocked at first when all the lock downs started. I was just getting back full on after my two month of keeping it a low pace. But actually, re-reading this blog, I realised that the not so strict Dutch lock down helped me even more to focus, listen to myself, get out into nature and slow down with al the things I actually didn't want anymore. How about that?!


January is exactly halfway through today. All scraps of glitter, cookies and pine needles are a thing of the past. Everyone has started a brand new year with a clean slate, with the promise of good resolutions like music to our ears. For me, January brings one big, good intention for years: to slow down. Today is a perfect January day for me. I took a morning walk with Marley, answered a few emails, lit candles and I am writing now. I don’t even have music on, I just enjoy the wind that howling outside. It hasn’t always been that way. For years, January was a kind of scary black hole for me to fall into. I love everything that has to do with the December parties. Celebrate, decorate, watch cuddly movies, and so on. I sincerely enjoy all cuddiness. After all the fun, January arrives, dark, dull and dreary: winter depression. To prevent this, I made sure that my agenda was packed. I remember my daughter with wet hair after swimmimg lesson, eating sandwiches. It was just after New Year’s Eve and I was going through our agenda with my husband. The next 6 weekends were full of nice plans, but one Saturday appointment got canceled and I immediately wanted to invite other friends for dinner. It was a January day like today, gray and windy, when my husband said, “What are you doing? I do not like this. Are you not doing this because you are afraid of your winter depression? I want to point out to you that a full schedule does not help, you are depressed every year ”. I remember that I first looked at him in astonishment, but I did not make any new plans. In fact, I canceled a few appointments. I admitted that I sat on the couch feeling down for an entire day or weekend. That was confusing but it felt good too. I started to delve into what a winter depression is and discovered that it is a fairly modern disease. I read everything, but the theory of the rhythm of nature and the seasons resonated with me the best. We humans live in a 24-hour society nowadays. Always on, always busy, always available. We plan everything and therefore think we have everything under control. But we forget that we are part of mother earth and that life goes in cycles: sprouting, maturing, harvesting, resting. We humans hardly take the time to really rest. Winter is the resting season. When nature gives itself the chance to recharge. My winter depression was not caused by darkness and dullness, but because I kept on running. My body and mind protested. I increasingly gave myself the opportunity to take it easy, to slow down and to recharge. And it worked. I haven’t been suffering from winter depression for a number of years now. January is my month of recharging, intimacy and introspection. I keep all appointments to a minimum. Sometimes I go to a party where I really dance till I drop. I watch the pearls of my sweat taking shape on my skin while I catch up with a good friend in the sauna. I loose myself in the middle of the day reading a book. I follow a workshop that gives me nice new insights (like yesterday, a workshop about your relationship with money, I’ll be writing about that). Work, of course, always goes on. But I am self-employed and allow myself to apply the same slowness. Clean up, oversee things, work out plans quietly. This month I have a deadline that I have to meet, tomorrow I have a meeting in Den Bosch and I have just accepted a new assignment. But everything goes in my own calm rhythm. There is room for spontaneity. I see the magic in everyday things. I absorb inspiration, ideas and energy, by simply slowing down. Actually I take it slow until my birthday, which always falls during the spring break. After that is already March and everything starts to grow and bloom again. Me too! P.S. I have walked my own path to slow down and live more calmly. I don’t always do it, sometimes my head and agenda are a kind of roller coaster. I like that too, just not in the winter. But if you want to get inspired and get useful tips on how to slow down, then you should read Yvonne Mol’s book “Wacht maar niet op mij” (sorry, only in Dutch). Yvonne and I are invisibly connected to each other by a piece of recognizable pain. Once, her words ment a lot for me. After reading her book, even more. Recommended!

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