The winter blues – Your ultimate guide for being optimistic, happy, and staying positive during the most miserable month of the year!

January is no fun, the weather is terrible, it’s cold and wet, it is always dark, you don’t feel great, and being indoors is not good for your mental health!
What rot! January is what you make of it!

There are so many ways to lift your mood! A walk on a crisp sunny morning is just gorgeous, wrap up warm and get out there! Travel further by getting out into the countryside on a bike but make sure you take some time to stop to enjoy the view while you’re out!

Alternatively, stay nice and warm indoors and settle down with a book! A good novel is a great escapism or what about educational books to expand your mind, read up on history, wildlife, or geography. Biographies of great sportspeople are fascinating to see the dedication and commitment they have to get to the top of their sport. Also, as Business Owners, we should read a few business books to help us develop our skills and be better leaders.

I find music can lift my mood with no real involvement on my part! I’m sitting here listening to the new King King album for the 3rd time in 2 days (a bonus point if you have heard of King King!). Have a little dance around the room or join in the solos with air guitar of drums, don’t worry no one can see you! Or go for the real thing and sign up to the Beccy Hurrel Voice Academy and learn to sing!

For a quick fix simply smile! Smiling releases endorphins in the same way as exercise which causes the runners high (although without the exertion!).

And I know it sounds obvious but spend your time with happy positive people, it will lift your mood.

As Business Owners a positive mindset is important

We have to be proactive to drive our business forward and to motivate our team.

If we are going to work 200 plus hours a month we need to enjoy work. Our customers and clients want to talk with people who are pleasant to be around, no one wants to talk to a misery gut!

To lead the business we need to feel confident in what we are doing and that it will get us the results we want.

Be Positive – if you think it is bad it probably will be

Paul McGee in his book SUMO presents the Sudo-maths;

Events + Reaction = Outcome

Simply put, it is not the event that determines the outcome, it is the way you react to that event that decides the outcome. The event is the event. The situation is the situation. What someone said or did, what happened is what it is! We can’t change that so stop worrying, moaning, or fretting about things you can’t change. Choose a more helpful response. One that doesn’t involve you having a pity party, throwing your toys out of your pram, or heading for the biscuit tin!

Don’t get me wrong, we all have that immediate dip of anger and frustration when something does not go as planned. Recognise that is what is happening and move yourself to acceptance and problem solving as quickly as possible, which could take moments, or hours, or possibly even days (this is Hippo time, you really need to read SUMO!)

Start by making small changes in your day-to-day life. Little changes. Use positive language, instead of saying “I’m Not Bad” try “I’m great!” (The brain does not register NOT so just hears BAD)

Look for what could go right in the day, don’t be delusional you still have to address the problems but stop and look for wins.

Don’t get overwhelmed, plan your time

If you are not careful your day will be taken up entirely with work and stuff leaving you with no time to do the things that lift your mood (see the first section!). So get organised and plan a time to relax!

Spend a few minutes at the end of each day planning what you are going to do tomorrow. Decide what you need to do both at work and home. Plan to spend time with wife and kids, to read for an hour, watch a film or sport. Plan time to get out and exercise!

Wine is not the answer!
January is what you make of it! If you decide it is a miserable month it will be! Get on and do stuff that lifts your mood!

What is it that you do to cheer yourself up? Please add your ideas to the comments and let’s share a little positivity!