Today is Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. But with the most challenging Christmas in at least my memory, and COVID not looking like it’s over anytime soon, Blue Monday is even more challenging.
But, just because it’s called Blue Monday, doesn’t mean we have to give into it. It isn’t a blueprint for how to feel. There are some simple things you can do to lift your mood, whether it is Blue Monday or any other day, whether COVID is here or long gone. And I share some other tips to help 2021 get off to a good start. Call it a new beginning. I will give them to you in two parts: one to uplift your mood and another to create momentum.
Part One (Mood)
First of all, we will start with your daily DOSE.
This daily DOSE not only lifts your mood but also boosts your immune system. Let me introduce you to this natural way of feeling a whole lot better whatever day of the year it is and whatever is going on in the world. I’ll give you three pointers for each but you can get creative and create more of your own:
Dopamine is a function of the reward and pleasure centres of your brain. All you need to do to get a boost is to get a small sense of achievement. Here are some ideas to make it really easy:
- Making your bed first thing in the morning – an underrated activity which gets your day off to a psychologically positive start.
- Clearing out a cupboard – takes less time than you think and is disproportionately satisfying. Throwing things out that you no longer like or need also makes space for the things you want to bring into your life, according to feng shui principles.
- Finishing a project. Currently I am working on a Zero Inbox project. Boy, does it feel good to organise, cull and action the thousands of emails which were clogging my inbox and my mind.
What would give you a sense of achievement? The options are limitless. Have fun with it!
This “cuddle” or “love” hormone is really important at the moment because it gives you a sense of connection with others. It makes you feel more secure too and we all need that right now. If you are isolating, it’s a lot more difficult. So, to get your oxytocin on a daily basis, here are some ideas for you:
- Make sure you are connecting more meaningfully with friends and loved ones. It becomes all too easy to be withdrawn at a time when we all need more connection. If it has to be on Zoom, make it matter.
- If you are doing online networking or meetings, do make an extra effort to make it personal – ask how people are and listen to their answer (“how are you?” has become a meaningless term for the most part). Remember to use people’s names – that gives both of you a little shot of oxytocin.
- Make use of your one person to join you on your walk and make it matter – really make an effort to share, laugh, support. As I write, one person on a walk, socially distanced, is permitted but do keep up with any changes. Safety first.
Need to feel more optimistic and secure? Join the club! Serotonin is a good way to do this. Again, there are a number of simple things you can do:
- Get 20 minutes of daylight – it doesn’t matter if it’s a cloudy day – the sun is still there above the clouds (that’s a good metaphor for life too, isn’t it?)
- Make sure you get good sleep each night (my Sleep-Well MP3 will help with this)
- Eat foods rich in tryptophan (a precursor to serotonin), eg chicken, pumpkin seeds, bananas.
These are the natural feel-good chemicals and can be created naturally and easily:
- Laughter: your favourite comedy shows or sharing a joke with friends.
- Dancing to your favourite music (as if no-one’s looking)
- Regular exercise (Joe Wicks has helped millions of people with his online workouts but there are more out there too)
Part Two (Momentum) 3:3:3
So, having got your daily DOSE organised, time to start making it a good year. There is nothing like a new year to make a good start.
- Decide your three top intentions this year. They may be solely to do with your business/career, or not. It’s your year, make it a good one.
- Establish what three activities for each which, if practiced regularly, will help you achieve them.
- Decide on your top three priorities each morning: those which will help you reach those intentions over time. This will get you out of fire-fighting and into creating a year which will matter in all the right ways.
Do remember to celebrate success – it’s an important, and enjoyable, part of the journey. Remember too that practice makes progress!
If this sounds good but you would like some support, do get in touch. It’s always easier when you work with someone to support you so that you enjoy more flow, and to avoid the noise of daily life which can take you off track until you wonder (perhaps not for the first time) “what on earth happened to the year?”
To your health, your happiness and your success.
PS If you want to read my original article about getting your daily DOSE, visit here.
PPS Want a Breakthrough Session to kickstart the year? Visit here.