Is it just Blue Monday or a larger part of the new year that can leave you feeling blue?
January/February are months many people struggle with. Or rather they struggle to feel good during this time. Back in 2005 a press release by a travel company cited Blue Monday as a ‘thing’. They even had a scientist concoct a formula to explain why the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year (so it must be true, right?)
He used influencing factors such as weather, debt, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to take action.
Even if Blue Monday isn’t the most depressing day of the year, the lack of sunlight and fallout from Christmas can leave us feeling ‘less than’. Add in that we may have already given up on our New Year resolutions or be feeling demotivated and we may well be feeling blue. And for more than just one day.
So what’s to be done. We can’t change the weather or lack of sunlight. We can however make other changes that will help us feel more positive and motivated.
Get clear on what you actually want
What’s important to you in relation to your health, home life, relationships, finances, career etc. If you look back at the end of this year how will you feel if certain things haven’t changed? The things that leave you feeling uneasy or stressed are priorities. There are other techniques you can use if gaining clarity on what you do actually want is a challenge for you.
Have a plan of action
Now you know what’s important put a plan of action together to help you achieve it. Small actions taken regularly often provide better, longer lasting results than big changes you find hard to maintain. What two or three small changes can you make for each goal you want to achieve? Remember you have to take personal responsibility for this. Nobody else can do it for you. Reminding yourself of ‘why’ it’s important to you is a powerful way to keep yourself on track.
Learn some new skills
It may be that to get to where you want to go you have to do some learning and growing. What you’ve done in the past has taken you to where you are now. If where you want to be is different, it will require some different skills, abilities and maybe a different mindset. Mindfulness is a powerful life skill that can make a big difference in many areas of our life. Whether you’d like to worry less, reduce your anxiety or stress levels, sleep better or work on your personal growth, it can help.
Enjoy the journey
Don’t wait until things are exactly as you’d like them to be before allowing yourself to enjoy life. Putting your life on ‘hold’ until you’re at your ideal weight, in your ideal job, home, relationship etc. isn’t helpful. Life and goals are about the journey, not the destination. It’s the journey on the right track that will get you to your desired result, without the journey there will be no result. We have to grow into that version of the person we want to be. The more you enjoy the process, the happier you’ll be and chances are good the journey will be shorter as a result.
And remember no matter how bad things feel at the moment, you have plenty of things to be grateful for. In every bad situation there will be positives. They may be lessons we can learn. Things that are good that we’ve just overlooked or indeed considering how much worse that situation could be. Making gratitude a daily practice will make a big difference to how you think and feel about life. More often than not it’s the small things in life we take for granted that can make us feel the most grateful when we stop and consider them.
We all feel down from time to time. It becomes a problem when we get stuck feeling that way. There are lots of ways to change how we feel. It’s good to keep in mind that winter is a time of introspection. Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can make us uncomfortable, but that’s just a sign that some changes might be a good thing. It’s also a time when our body’s want to rest and recharge. So keep in mind that how we think and feel in winter will be different to how we naturally think and feel in the summer. We can still maintain a positive outlook, feel happy and confident in ourselves. It might just be in a more understated way than at other times of the year.
If you’d like some help to beat the Blue Monday vibe get in touch.