For the first few days in January, most people are still riding high on their new year resolutions - whether they be sticking to a diet, finding a new job or spending less time on the smartphone and more time talking to people. But by the end of the month, a few of us have fallen off the proverbial wagon, the diet has gone pear-shaped and it's cold outside. Add to all this the concept of 'Blue Monday', reported in pseudo-scientific circles to be the most depressing day of the year, and you can see how people are happy to see the back of January!
But is it all bad? A new year can truly herald new beginnings. I published my first book on 1st January 2015 and since then I've always associated it as a positive time of year, reminding me of when I was brave enough to step outside my comfort zone. I've known friends who lived unhappy lives in the wrong relationship or in the wrong job, who used the new year as a fresh start and haven't looked back. Sometimes, though, it isn't about making enormous changes. If you are one of those people who sometimes feels overwhelmed, like me, then maybe it's about tinkering with a few minor things to boost your mood and help you through a natural slump. Here are some of the things that give me a lift whenever I catch myself feeling a bit 'meh'.
Don't be fooled by the filters
Don't let the sepia-hued photographs on social media fool you into thinking that other people's lives are perfect. It's the challenge of our generation to decipher between facts and 'alternative' facts so just remember everything isn't always as it seems!
Pick up a good book
As you can imagine, I love a good book. But at the end of a long working day my eyes are often too tired to think of reading and there always seem to be so many other things to do. If you can't find a quiet moment on the journey into work or in the bath, have you thought about an audiobook? However you manage it, try to switch your mind off and lose yourself in a story because it's food for the soul.
Shake your hips
Many people find music gives them a natural high and I'm one of them - I even listen to it when I'm writing. It can work just as well on the commute to and from work, or in the morning before the dreaded school run to help to get the day off to a positive start. For motivation, there's nothing like the Rocky IV soundtrack!
Think big, not small
Everybody you meet is going through their own personal daily battle. Who knows what has happened to cause them to be unpleasant in the office, or to try to spoil your mood? Have a little pity, or tell 'em to jog on - it's your choice - but either way, don't let them drag you down.
Here's to a happy 2017!
* image www.shutterstock.com