I read an interesting article in the Times of India – Times Life pages yesterday . It talks about the Blue Monday on 15th Jan ,this year ,or for that matter , every year , when you are at your melancholic best ! – when you realize that most of your New Year resolutions have gone for a six ,out of your window.
According to Dr Cliff Arnall , a psychologist , the third Monday of January is typically ” the most depressing day of the year ” . His formula uses factors in weather conditions,debt level ,time since Christmas , time since failing our New Year’s resolutions , low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action, which all eventually add to stress levels and push us towards the ” Panic Button ” .
The depressed mood is often exacerbated by perceiving a gap between how someone wants things to be and how they actually are. This real vs ideal discrepancies highlights in January because the ‘low’ followed by the festival season ‘high’ affects everyone and the stark contrast makes us feel inadequate. [ Prof Ed Watkins from the Mood Disorders Centre -MDC ] .
We all face this ‘January Jitters ‘ – in different levels and severity . Take my case. I retired from active work life after 52 years as on 30 June 2017. I traveled to the US with my wife to spend quality time with our children from July to November and afterwards spent a month in Kerala visiting our relations. We came back by end December and resolved to take many actions which will regulate our new-found and well-earned ” freedom ” beginning 1st January 2018 ! . One of my promise was to write a post every day and the other to go for a 40 mins walk twice a day [ it was once a day last year] . We also decided to check our income – expenditure status going forward and look for new avenues for savings/investments.
I wrote three blog posts during the first three days but could not sustain the momentum afterwards till today. Missed many of the walks due to many reasons , the other plans are still a ‘work in progress ” . The list goes on —. Is this a case of over confidence ? ambitious plans ? or failure to do a “Reality Check” side by side ” ? May be all of it . Because of these, I liked the idea given out in the box of the article under reference, which I reproduce below –
- Let there be light – Go outdoors in the sunshine.
- A choice of physical posture at work – it energizes and mentally stimulates you.
- Find a quiet zone – seek your quiet zone at work ,focus on your thoughts to increase your well-being.
- Use colour to set the tone- Choose colours wisely -Blue stimulates clarity,Yellow boosts creativity and lifts spirits and Green creates a sense of calming balance.
- Bring a bit of nature – into your workplace and home.
While most of the above are ” Stress Busters” for the work place, I believe we can applied intelligently for a retired life as well and for housewives . Above all , remember that there are 12 months in a year and you do not have to meet everything by 15 January !!! Let us have action plans with milestones throughout the year and alerts regularly to warn you against any attempt to Procrastinate.
Wish you all a very Happy , Stress Free , Healthy and above all Productive and Fulfilling 2018 !
[ Inspired by the article ‘Don’t be a January Monster ” by Nona.Walla@timesgroup.com dated 14 January 2018 ]