When we look at the news it’s so easy to get really depressed. So often it seems that only terrible things are happening in the world; ecologically, politically, financially, economically, even in the arts or in entertainment, there is often bad or sad news. The winter days are cold and dreary, sunlight seems to have forgotten us, and Spring and Summer seem so far away.
So I thought I’d find a few headlines that might cheer people up a bit as we head towards what has been called Blue Monday: apparently tomorrow, Monday 20th January, is known to be the most depressing day of the year. Although it’s widely believed that Blue Monday is a ‘real thing’, it was created by psychologist Cliff Arnall back in 2004 as a way of boosting holiday sales at a time of year when exterior factors such as weather, work, mid-month financial strain and the return to work after the Christmas/New Year break are supposed to have us in their grip.
If it’s not a real ‘thing’ then we can shake it off, right?
We can do that by: having some fun (without spending the money we won’t have for another week and a half), talking to our friends and family, going for a walk, weather permitting, staying in with a loved one and snuggling in front of the TV, the fire, curling up with a book, baking a cake, planning holidays and trips for later in the year, planning DIY projects. All these life-affirming activities boost our moods and help us to remember that life is good and worth living. Feed the birds in your garden or if you haven’t got a garden, at the park. Look for signs of Spring
arriving: new growth on trees and shrubs, daffodil bulbs emerging, the slightly longer days.
Surround yourself with caring people.
Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It’s not selfish to nurture yourself as well as others. It’s just the sensible thing to do. Treat yourself, little and often.
Count your blessings–an old-fashioned but useful way of deliberately looking for the myriad of big things and small that make your life a good one: your loved ones, the roof over your head, the bills you’ve paid, the opportunity to pay more bills in the future which means your life is full and busy and you have grown up and taken on responsibilities, the dog, the cat, the colour of the sunset, the old lady who smiled at you in the grocery store. Turn it to the positive.
Take note of the small, the mundane stuff that usually is overlooked in the busyness of life. A minute here, a minute there will not massively mess up your deadlines, but it could make a huge difference to your well-being.
If you still want to read the news, but don’t want to get depressed, here are some uplifting stories from the last week or so:
Not all retail parks and human environments destroy habitats and ecosystems, some are being used to encourage and even nurture wildlife: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-51050547
A dad helped his daughter revise for her school exams, and saved his own life: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-51081957
Generous and caring people still exist in communities: anonymous donors leave money for those in need: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-51093623
And here’s a picture of Malcolm – he’s a happy chap, and a glance at him having a snooze will always put me in a good mood. I advise looking at this picture three times a day after meals and once before bed.
I’m hoping that with all these little things, you–and I–will have less of a Blue Monday and more of a Rosy Outlook. Wishing everyone a good week.