Surviving Blue Monday or Thriving Despite It?
The third Monday in January has become known as Blue Monday, as this is what psychologists say is our nadir for being sad and pessimistic. The reason…..perhaps the expectations and excesses of Christmas, failed New Year’s resolutions, the cold days and long dark nights, being single, personal relationship changes, limited new employment opportunities, or even anything else you care to think of!
But what if we could spin all this negativity around?
Here are my 3 top tips to turn Blue Monday into Gold Monday:
1 Ignore, or better still, do not accept the negative label of Blue Monday!
Instead of accepting the perceived or received status quo that Blue Monday is something to be dreaded, why don’t you switch your thinking and actions. Why not adopt a mindset that says I am going to do everything I can to turn Blue into Gold.
Stanford University researcher, Alia Crum, talks about how we always seem to view stress as a bad thing, when in fact, we need some stress in our lives to perform better – it’s just about getting the balance of frequency, duration and intensity right.
The same thinking can be applied to Blue Monday. Why not positively ‘attack’ Blue Monday with a cascade of positive thoughts and actions, like a tsunami of change. For example, this can be searching for that new job, as now is actually a great time to get a better job or even start a new career. Last Monday was called Massive Monday because so many employers were and are still, offering unprecedented numbers of jobs and careers! Alternatively, if you are feeling bloated and overweight from the Christmas excesses, why not see Blue Monday as the start of 348 days of opportunities to start turning the tide.
2 Develop New Year resolutions, or even ‘Maintenance Resolutions’ with Why Power
Often, in a pique of energy, anger, frustration or even boredom, we can dream up exciting resolutions that can very quickly turn into a hassle at best, and a beastly burden, at worst. In some cases, your personal and professional credibility can even be put to the test of public scrutiny and accountability.
According to Will Power experts, Baumeister and Tierney, a key factor in achieving any resolution is not to get motivated, but rather, the secret is to unearth your Why Power. You need to tap into your Why rather than your Will, as your Will is finite. Why Power revolves around being logical and rational, and choosing goals which are achievable, necessary, longer term and even life enhancing or prolonging. When you start to understand that these goals aren’t just nice, but are necessary, then your Why motivation will kick in and stay in.
Sure, there are going to be tough days and decisions which have to be made, but remember life is not ‘happy-clappy 24/7’. As a human species, we are programmed to seek out the negative in all situations, and out of 6,500 daily thoughts, up to 70% of these are negative – this revolves around our pre-programmed survival mindset. So, don’t take negative thoughts personally, just by being aware of this in itself, should give us all room for optimism!
It may also be a smart idea to not even have any new resolutions as new resolutions can set us up to fail and therefore perpetuate a self-defeating philosophy. As an alternative, why not have Maintenance Resolutions ie just keep doing the things that have always brought you progress, success and happiness – you simply can’t fail.
3 Develop acceptance, gratitude and self-esteem to find love
Without a nurturing of our own internal wellbeing, we can quickly see life as a big hassle, with simple activities and challenges turning into monster problems. We can even start to lose faith in ourselves. As a singleton entering 2022, and being wary of Blue Monday, it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing being single as a clear sign of personal failure to attract a mate. This need not be the case. If we can love ourselves first and foremost, then we are creating the foundation for others to love us. Invest in accepting who you are, be grateful for life and opportunities, and always remember, that your self-esteem, or self-worth, starts with you and only you can give permission for others to erode that.
Be brave and bold as you approach Blue Monday, and you may just surprise yourself in the love stakes!