Good evening, lovely reader! I hope that Tuesday has been kind to you.
I hate to sound like a downtrodden farmer’s wife from an awful film, but it’s been a long and difficult winter. 2014 has not started well for lots of people I love. Having repeatedly insisted to one another that this WILL be our year, I think a lot of us are starting to lose momentum. We’re nearly two months in, and so far 2014 is a mixed bag to say the least.
On top of the terrifying news about floods, sink holes and that horrible woman torturing people in Russia, we are all living with personal fears and issues. There are money worries, love life crises and all sorts of other concerns dominating my friends’ mental landscapes, and I personally spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what on earth my hair thinks it’s doing.
Two million people in the UK suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a type of depression linked to the seasons and specifically to sunlight. You can get sunlight-imitating light bulbs and take other small steps to help yourself with the disorder, but there’s no doubt about it this time of year is very hard for people with SAD.
So, to sum up: the world is going to hell on a Boris bike and our own lives are not so great, either. February sucks. The British thing to do would be to grumble about it (quietly), and just keep going. In a fit of non-patriotic activity, I have decided against that tactic. I want this month to be a really good one, not just the usual post-Christmas “there’s nothing to look forward to” malaise. So here is what I’m going to do about it, and I hope that other people who are struggling with this month can find similar things to cheer themselves up.
1) Eat something delicious for breakfast
It would be nice to eat something delicious for every meal, obviously, but breakfast is the most important meal because it sets up your metabolism for the day ahead. You don’t want to get half way through your busy morning of being an awesome human being and run out of energy, do you? Making yourself a great breakfast is good for you emotionally as well as physically, too: treating yourself to your favourite cereal (or whatever you fancy) puts you in a good mood right from the off.
2) Talk to an old friend
A text, a phone call, a coffee: however it happens, make sure it does happen. Making a small effort to reconnect with someone that you care about but don’t see/speak to regularly is a really nice way to keep your chin up during this time of year. You get friend points, you get to catch up with someone you love, and you have an opportunity to escape your day-to-day life and laugh with a friend. People appreciate the gesture, and coffee is always good.
3) Do something selfless
This is a fairly common piece of advice, but it really does work. Doing something selfless, no matter how small or inconsequential it might seem to be, is always good. After all, we have no way of knowing how far reaching one selfless action’s effects will be. Plus, you can be secretly smug about it. Secretly, mind. Don’t go bragging or you’ll lose the cosmic brownie points.
4) Tick something off the bucket list
Everyone has things that they absolutely have to have achieved before they die. They are things that you want to do, you have wanted to do for a long time, and which say a lot about who you are and what matters most to you. Do one of them. Seriously, why not? Why not use this meagre month to achieve something that would genuinely make you happy? Carpe every diem.
5) Say nice things to people
Compliment people. It sounds a bit weird as an instruction. I’m sure you are a perfectly lovely person who gives compliments already, but think about it: if you find something to compliment about every person you speak to on a regular basis, such as your colleagues and house mates, you are training yourself to look at your day-to-day life in a positive light. Plus, people love receiving compliments. Even if you don’t like the person, give it a go. You can do that, can’t you? Yeah you can. ‘Cause you’re awesome.