Why September is the New January

Why September is the New January

This has never been more true than in 2020.

September is the start of the academic year. Even those who are not returning to school and organising planners, pencil cases and uniforms can attest to feeling a strange desire to be productive, to Marie Kondo their homes and reorganise at this time of year.

Some say that you’re more likely to stick to new goals if you start working towards them in September. They argue that January is cold and dark and we’ve just come off a high indulgence holiday – it’s a difficult place to start from.

In the summer however, we have longer evenings to spend more time outside or even enjoy a recharging spell of annual leave. While we wish we’d appreciated those six long weeks of the school holidays more as a child, come September we’re still generally much more refreshed and recharged than we are in early January. We’re looking forward to cosy evenings in, long walks and all things autumnal and ‘hygge’.

But what about 2020? Many of our positive intentions didn’t have much time to come to fruition before lockdown arrived in March. Keeping our families safe and becoming accustomed to working and schooling remotely were our new priorities. During the height of lockdown, with social interaction and leaving the house curtailed, many of us found solace in new home-based hobbies or exercise.

Now, in late summer, we’re in a strange limbo. How many of those new hobbies or self-care routines have been forgotten? The world has slowly been opening up, treading lightly towards what we once considered the normal way to shop, go out to eat and socialise. Yet, the threat of the virus is still very much present. Mask wearing, social distancing and dousing yourself in hand sanitiser have become normal (at the time of writing) and this strange in between period could stretch on for some time.

A Slow Living Reset in September

2020 has been a tiring and confusing year. Much of the year has been dictated by new guidelines, causing us to cancel highly anticipated plans and put much of life on hold. The past few months have felt very much out of our hands, but September, with its ‘back to school’ feeling, offers an opportunity to slow down and work out what else we lost along the way.

“Slow living is all about creating time and space and energy for the things that matter most to us in life, so ask yourself what you stand to gain.”

Brooke McAlary

Reread our guide to how to slow down and think about if your values (what’s important to you) have changed over the past few months. Then, ask yourself if you’re still making time for these things, and above all, yourself.

If you chose a word of the year, revisit it. Does it still feel right for how you feel now? If it doesn’t, there’s nothing wrong with finding a new word that better fits your post-lockdown lifestyle.

2020 shouldn’t be seen as a write-off. There’s so much to be said for taking a step back and a deep breath now, rather than waiting for a new year.