Today is supposed to be the most miserable day of the year. We’re supposed to feel depressed, demoralised and generally down. Why? Because the weather is pants and the Christmas credit card bills are in and, frankly, who loves January anyway?
But there’s a problem:
You get what you believe.
If you’re feeling bombarded with ‘Blue Monday’ vibes today and you believe that Blue Monday is real, then you’re going to have a gloomy day. And if you’re running a business or looking to change the world, then your team and your customers will suffer. You’ll risk making lousy decisions, playing small on normally-exciting opportunities and going to bed tonight feeling like you had a bad day. Now that’s not what I want you to experience today. So here are five antidotes to Blue Monday – to maximise your chances of having a great day – today and every day.
1. Get Moving!
If you’re feeling down, then sitting at your desk and staring at your computer screen is VERY unlikely to shift your mood. Sure, there’s a chance that a cute kitten video will patter its way through your inbox or sneak into your social media feed, but that’s leaving your happiness to chance, isn’t it? Over the past 13 years as an NLP Trainer and now also a certified Yoga Teacher, I have repeatedly seen the value of movement, to change your inner state. How about trying it right now? (It’s ok if you need to hide yourself in the toilet cubicle to do this!):
- Stand up and wriggle your shoulders. Then stretch your arms above your head. Stretch up, then to the left, then to the right.
- Then bring your arms back down and shake them, as though the hand-dryer were broken and you need to flick the water off your fingers.
- Then stand on one leg (you can use your hand against a wall for balance if you need it) and shake your lifted foot, then the ankle, then the knee, then the whole leg. Repeat on the other side.
- Wiggle your butt and boogie – put on your favourite music.
- Breathe deeply from your belly and smile.
This is an instant mood-lifter and the few minutes it costs you pay dividends in shifting your body’s stress hormones into endorphins and leaving you feeling more energised and positive.
2. Don’t Believe The Stories You’re Telling Yourself
Don’t buy into Blue Monday, unless you want to. We get what we believe. If you convince yourself that today is going to be a terrible day, then you’ll trigger the filters in your brain to spot things that confirm this belief. So it doesn’t matter how many fabulous things happen, what you’ll notice and remember is the rubbish stuff. The problem comes when we believe the stories our monkey minds tell us. Your body and emotions don’t care whether something you’re thinking about is happening live, or is a past memory, or a future worry: the same chemical reactions get triggered off as though it were actually happening. So you’ll end up feeling glum and tired and stressed. If you catch yourself telling yourself Blue Monday stories, press pause. Take a deep breath in from your belly and breathe out with an ‘ahhhh’ sound, releasing tension. Remind yourself that Blue Monday isn’t real. Seriously: it’s not! It was invented by a travel company about 10 years ago! So you have total control over whether or not you want today to feel Blue.
3. Two Little Words To Turn Things Around
When you’re dancing with the Blue Monday grumps, your mind gets stuck on the ‘complaining train’. It’s easy to go round in circles spotting everything that’s bad or going wrong. And that feeds itself, like a snake eating its own tail. There are two little words that can turn everything around for you, getting you off the complaining train and back towards feeling positive again.
If you’re feeling glum this Blue Monday, stop and ask yourself:
“What do I feel thankful for, right here, right now?”
Let something bubble up – no judgement – and really experience that ‘thank you’. Then think of another thing. Really feel the emotion of appreciation. And then another. Keep going for at least sixty seconds. Notice how your mood has shifted? You just changed your body chemistry – and the way you’re likely to feel at bedtime tonight – with the power of your mind. Cool, eh? Gratitude can be a magic wand on days like today.
4. Deal With The Monday Morning Blues!
Not a one-off today? Then you need to deal with the Monday Morning Blues. “Tell me why I don’t like Mondays…” We all know the feeling: after a great weekend, the alarm goes off and realisation dawns: it’s Monday morning. Again. For many of us, it can trigger a sinking feeling of dread, as we take a deep breath and dive into another week. It can go on for years, feeling stuck in a rut and unable to change anything. Life is too precious to have a day of the week that you dread. And it doesn’t have to be that way! Believe me, I’ve been there. And – apart from the school run 😉 – I love Monday mornings now! Here are 7 survival tips to help you beat the Monday Morning Blues.
5. Do Something Amazing
To antidote the feeling of Blue Monday, how about stepping outside of your comfort zone – your usual routine – and doing something amazing today? It’s why my Dare to Dream Bigger Expert Series cranks up and goes live in the week of ‘Blue Monday’. That’s not a coincidence. It feels right to create something exciting, empowering and inspirational to antidote the January Blues. And each time I have run an event like this, it has been a game-changer, for those who took part. Expert entrepreneurs share their insider secrets for creating breakthroughs in the coming year. And it’s a pitch-free zone (none of that ‘3 nano-seconds of content and then 55 minutes of self-promoting fluff!). Here’s where you can grab your ticket for this year.
So there are five practical strategies to help you beat Blue Monday. And I’d love to hear from you:
- Which of these resonate for you?
- How does Blue Monday affect you?
- And do you have any advice you’d love to share with fellow readers on how to handle Blue Monday and the Monday Morning Blues in general?
Let me know via the comments!
Author of Dare to Dream Bigger
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