January is often a time where the phrase 'new year new me' is bandied about; when many of us attempt to shake off the over-indulgences of Christmas, and enthusiastically start a new exercise or eating regime - often with mixed results.
But this year the first month has felt different to many of us, with accounts of ongoing exhaustion and general malaise from 2020 still lingering in 2021, like a bad hangover.
It may be a new year, but it's tough to say "new me" when we're all still feeling as burnt out as we were months ago.
Instead of a vigorous new exercise regime, it might be time to move to more restorative practices to restore our energy and support our anxious wee bodies.
That's the goal of Olivia Scott, an Auckland-based Reiki healer and energy healing coach whose client base exploded to hundreds following the pandemic.
"It's like through all of this turbulence, something has shifted in the mainstream. People I would have never thought would be interested in my practice were calling up and saying 'I need coaching,' or 'I've been wanting to try Reiki'," says Scott.
Growing in popularity, many Kiwis may have tried Reiki, an energy tapping process originally created by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui over a hundred years ago.
Based on the principle of tapping into energy flows which control our physical, mental and emotional well-being, a Reiki Master can supposedly move blockages that are caused by stress, trauma and negative thinking - all of which were sounding familiar after the nightmare that was 2020.
As interest grew, Scott also opened up her energy healing clinic to virtual sessions throughout the lockdowns.
"The forced lockdowns, combined with the insurmountable challenges we've all had to face, has meant there's been an increased time/need for introspection," says Scott, former owner of The Raw Kitchen,
"This has led many to realise that they'd like to cope or process challenges better."
Heading along to Scott's Grey Lynn clinic to indulge in a 90 minute guided energy healing, I wasn't sure what to expect. But lying back on the comfortable bed and covered by a snuggly blanket, it actually was akin to lying back for a facial or massage - just fully clothed.
As Scott began placing her hands across my head, heart and limbs, I actually dozed off for a little bit - but I'm not sure if that was due to the healing vibes or just the exhaustion of the first week back at work.
After essentially 60 minutes of nap time, I felt absolutely incredible and clearer than I had all week at work.
Scott made notes throughout the process and gave me a rundown of some of the blockages and things she had picked up on throughout my healing.
Most of them were extremely bang on, including notes about my relationships with my family, work, partner and friends.
I left feeling light as a feather; similar to leaving a therapy session but with more snoozing and far fewer tears - although crying is encouraged if the need arises during your session.
Whether you're looking for healing, more energy or just a sublime cozy nap - maybe skip the next F45 session and head to Scott's clinic for a session instead. Your cortisol levels will thank you.
This session was gifted to Newshub for review purposes.