I’m going to get in there first.
Blue Monday is this Monday – traditionally the saddest day of the year.
- The festivities are behind us
- The presents have been enjoyed
- The decorations have come down
- The January bank statement is looming
There is nothing particularly scientific about it, but we all kind of nod and go ‘yup, sounds about right’.
But this year – It’s next level.
Lockdown – do you remember… it started with three weeks.
We spent the Summer in the sun feeling as though we were a bit hard done by.
But now we are here.
We didn’t have the Christmas and New Year we wanted to.
We’ve had children at home, without school, without their friends.
I had my 15 year old ask me what my 15th year was like tonight… and I didn’t dare tell her.
It was outrageous, exciting… one of the best years of my entire life.
Friends, fun, new things…(stuff I wouldn’t post here),
and GCSEs I somehow wangled.
In front of a screen.
With pretty piss poor online tuition.
No friends to spend time with.
(Friends are the main thing when you are 15, and hers are wonderful)
And a good attitude, despite this.
More than that – she’s been cheated out of her 15th year (and she is genuinely one of the best people I ever have or will meet).
And that’s not fair at all.
But it’s way more serious than that.
Millions (actually billions) of stories of years cheated out of, or decimated. Funerals missed. Weddings cancelled. Dying wishes not granted. Memories NOT made. People who should have been looked after in times of need, left on their own.
And it’s not OK.
It is actually fully shit, which I appreciate isn’t a very poetic way to put it – but I can’t really think of a better way.
Everyone is tired.
We’ve been encouraged – no FORCED – to become disconnected with each other.
And humans are not designed for that either.
I spoke to an elderly woman on a walk recently,
that told me, for her, that this is worse than the war.
In the war, people weren’t scared of each other – they came together.
Now people are scared to come close.
And that’s the difference.
People are so tired, they are even tired of looking for conspiracy theories that would make sense
out of something that really doesn’t make any sense.
I understand why people are sniping at ‘positivity’.
‘Toxic Positivity’ they call it.
But much as I acknowledge this situation… as dire – I do not accept that.
And it’s not helpful.
“Don’t tell me to look on the bright side, when my life is like this”
Well I am going to be that guy.
You have to.
Not the bright side, exactly… but focussing on what IS good is what’s going to get you through this shit show.
- If you have food in your fridge.
- If your sofa and bed is comfortable.
- Your shoes fit.
- Your children are well.
- You have the internet.
- You can hear any song you want to on Spotify.
Even if your world has got really small (for now) you do need to turn your attention to those things.
Really pay attention to those things.
I know you deserve more – I know you probably want to hit me for that.
I don’t mind.
I’m pretty robust.
Focussing on the stuff that’s actually good,
trains your brain to look for more of that.
You genuinely get more of what you focus on.
It’s like when you’re trying to get pregnant and all you see is prams in the street.
Or searching for a car and all you see is the Audi you’re after…
I don’t really subscribe to the woo-woo stuff.
(Sorry woo-woo folk)
But find me evidence of something backed by science or something that works,
well I am all over that stuff.
Gratitude is one of those.
It changes your brain chemistry.
Which changes your physiology, your pain symptoms, increases your proprioception – which means you are going to increase your environmental awareness.
And reduce your stress hormones.
There is little to be grateful for at the moment –
but if you look hard, you’ll find something.
And it will keep you going.
Lock onto it.
Caitlin Moran (legend, please read her – I’ve devoured her) said that in hard times she bought herself flowers and kept them in her bedroom
so that every morning she would wake up and see them and think
“I am the sort of person who gets to wake up every day and see flowers”.
It doesn’t have to be big, and there may not be much – but you do have to focus on that – and not the bad stuff.
There will be a time we will look back on this.
Not sure we’ll laugh, but we’ll share stories and they will bring us closer together.
In all of this separation, I have no doubt we will find greater connection.
And you have to stay in one piece until it then
You can’t sink.
People need you in one piece.
Focussing on the positives that there are, not letting yourself spiral too far into the negative, getting enough sleep, getting fresh air every day, eating as well as you can, moving your body, not drinking too much, avoiding the stuff you know makes you worse.
You know what that is.
I don’t care if that’s not fashionable (I probably am not either) – it works if you do it.
Getting the minimum effective dose at least, so you come out the other side of this with no extra problems added to the rap sheet.
I wouldn’t be as presumptuous as to think this will solve everything, but I don’t think we should be even thinking along the lines of solving everything.
To me this is wellness.
It doesn’t require pills or an expensive retreat.
Back to basics.
You don’t need to hug a tree (but I won’t lie – that won’t harm either…it will ground you, and honestly – you get what you can at the moment)
But hopefully this helps a bit.
And I hope you try to take hold of anything and everything that helps a bit.
Because they will all add up.
I don’t even want your email address – I just want to help.
So in the first comment, here is something I recorded – kindly lent from our Human Upgrade members – that might be useful to you.
Freedom From Stress Self-Hypnosis.
Let me know how you find it.
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