Choose When to Change

Choose When to Change

Posted on Jan 3, 2023

Choose When to Change

Stefan Chmelik is co-founder of and inventor of the Sensate stress reduction system, which is based on his over three decades of clinical experience working with anxiety, stress and trauma. His mission is to positively impact the lives of 100 million people by 2025.


Early January / deep Winter is not the time to introduce serious behaviour change.

Now is the time for deep rest and recouperation. Perhaps for big vision thinking, but not action. Mid-to-end January or early February are better times to instigate change. Deep action is more possible when the energy changes, around Spring Equinox / Easter / Chinese New Year.


Great concepts and seasonal rituals to live by:

There is a thread linking the global traditions that have been shown to be consistent with true lasting contentedness and happiness. We can all benefit from listening to and following the wisdom of our predecessors:

Hygge – Nordic cosiness, cocooning indoors: you can move on from this now, as comfort without context and purpose only feels good for a while!


Kos – (Norwegian for cosiness), the pleasure in small things, noticed when we slow down, go back to basics and rediscover nature to help you feel safe and secure.

Lagom – a Swedish phrase with its origins in Viking times, translating roughly as ‘not too much, not too little’, focusses on seeking balance in everyday life, a concept more relevant than ever for a generation in genuine danger of burn out from the hustle of grind culture.


Coorie – an attitude from Scotland, about embracing the bracing, being outdoors, swimming, walking, surrounded by nature, and resting and recuperating deeply and fully. Keeping life simple and not worrying about the small stuff.


Koselig – a bit like Hygge of creating comfortable cosiness but focussed on the social aspects and connection with nature and the outdoors.


Friluftsliv – ‘Open air living’, people in the Nordics know that embracing nature and being outdoors is essential for our mental health, especially in the colder and darker months. Forrest walks, hill hikes, beach trips, park trips, all can be part of an outdoor life.


Momijigari – ‘leaf peeking’, is the Japanese tradition of travelling to places where the autumn leaf display is particularly spectacular, the yellows, browns and golds that are on display at this time of year. Closely related to Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese practice of forest bathing meditation, contact with nature, especially forests, is known to have a very significant impact on mental and physical health.


Ubuntu – ‘humanity’ from the Zulu, is also translated as "I am because we are". Ubuntu centres around generosity, compassion and sharing, with the guiding principle of ‘how can I be happy when you are not?’. A good question we should all ask ourselves.


Ikagai – Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth”. When combined, these terms mean that which gives your life worth, meaning, or purpose, and we know that a life without these qualities is meaningless and purposeless, so really no fun at all!


Getting the picture now?

True lasting contentedness and happiness comes from a life that embraces the simple things, is lived in connection with nature and with close connections to the world and life around you.


And all of the rituals I highlight above are FREE!


I love you,





Photo by kazuend on Unsplash