Described as the gloomiest day, Blue Monday, the third Monday of January, falls on January 15. What if this gloomy period was instead an opportunity to refocus on the essentials and what makes us feel good?
This Monday, January 15, the third at the start of the year, is pinned as Blue Monday, one of the dreariest days of the year, morally speaking. If its reputation remains to be demonstrated (the term is more marketing than scientific), the seasonal depression in January is still relevant. But against all odds, this calm period could well be the opportunity we need to bounce back and take life with optimism. Aurélie Pennel and Delphine Luginbuhl, authors of Cultivate optimism(Éditions Eyrolles, 2023) give us the means to turn the situation around in our favor.
A good excuse to think about yourself
If your morale is not at its best, it’s not really a surprise: the lack of light, the current cold, holiday fatigue or even a slightly empty wallet are weighing on your internal weather. “We are generally less bubbly in January than in July, that’s quite normal.” comments Aurélie Pennel, speaker specializing in optimism and resilience. However, the period would not be negative for this follower of positivism.
“It’s also a great time for yourself. Is everything too calm? So let’s take the time to take care of ourselves. This seasonal depression is a perfect excuse to take a look at yourself and ask yourself the right questions.”
The expert nevertheless specifies that she is mentioning here a period of “blues” and not depression, a health condition which must be taken care of correctly.
Open your mind whether you are alone or accompanied
There are then two solutions to do yourself good:
- Refocus on yourself, take the opportunity to rest, take care of your body and your morale.we read, we breathe, we meditate, in short we do what does us good according to our temperament”;
- On the contrary, if you are more of the social type, it is the time to call your friends, to schedule times with them, to take advantage of your important relationships.
“Taking care of yourself means refocusing on your own needs, while avoiding withdrawal, stagnation and immobility. This can involve resuming physical activity, going for a walk in nature, There are tons of things to do for yourself.” confides Aurélie Pennel.
Being positive and kind to yourself can be learned
But is finding the path to positivism given to everyone? “Oui” respond the authors. Because being positive does not mean being joyful and refusing difficulty or bad mood. It is above all an approach to things, which can be learned.
“Being positive is realizing that we do not choose what happens to us, but that we remain free to choose how we will react, depending on the interpretation we give to events” rebondit a son tour Delphine Luginbuhl.
According to the definition of Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, there are in fact 3 dimensions which shape positivism:
- Thinking that an event happens because of an internal (thanks to us) or external (because of others) factor. For the optimist, when a good thing happens to us, we have a role, for a pessimistic person, it is the opposite, it is only thanks to others;
- View the event as permanent or temporary. For a pessimist, if a good thing happens, it will only be temporary. For an optimist, these are the negative events that are only passing through;
- Finally, seeing the event in a global dimension. So when faced with something that is not going well, an optimist will tend to put things into perspective: “I didn’t get the job, but my family is doing well, my health too, I have good friends… so that’s okay.” VThis is the strength of a positive person.
How can you be more positive (when it’s not a habit)?
The two authors support this in their book: being positive can be cultivated on a daily basis. And certain exercises exist to improve.
“I am thinking, for example, of writing down 3 good things that happened to us during the day, every day. A method invented by Martin Seligman (and popularized by Florence Servan-Schreiber with her 3 kifs per day). This allows to remember that despite the cold, the transport breakdown, a discussion that is not moving forward, there are still a multitude of positive facts in your day. The expert promises: when noting these 3 positive facts becomes a habit, your brain then automatically reverses the mechanics. “You no longer think about being cold on the morning commute, but enjoy the scenery and it comes to you.”.
Another habit to put in place is that of the “resource person”, that is to say choosing a person you like, who knows how to listen without judging or even giving too much advice, but who is there at the right time. And that you can call or see if you’re feeling blue, just to quickly unload what’s weighing you down. Before heading back to a lighter day.