At this time of year, after the festivities of the year end, dark nights and spring being a while away, we can feel a bit low.
One way to address this is to spend some time reflecting on activities that raise our mood and activities that lower our mood. Then get a blank piece of paper and make two column, one headed ‘Mood raising activities’ and one headed ‘Mood lowering activities’.
Mood raising activities might include things like listening to music or a favorite podcast, spending time with family or friends, doing something active or watching nature (in the wild or on the telly) or having an early night with a good book. Then see if you can schedule more of these activities over the coming few weeks. Then actively look forward to doing upcoming mood raising activities and purposefully enjoying them. Before, during and after the activity spend time to appreciate and be grateful for these activities and all involved in them.
Mood lowering activities might include things like doing the ironing, watching or listening to the news, an overwhelming ‘to do’ list, spending time with certain family members or going out in the cold and rain. Then see if you can schedule less of these over the coming weeks. If they are things that you feel you must do, then double check with yourself if you really do have to do them. Then if you really do have to do them, reflect on the reasons why you have to do them (such as the resulting benefit for yourself or those around you) so that you get a sense of why doing these activities is worthwhile or meaningful.
Could you do some of the necessary mood lowering activities mindfully so as to contribute to your daily mindfulness practice? That might make them more meaningful. Another tip is to do the mood lowering activities as soon as you can, so that they get done and you are not dwelling on them.
One activity that might support your mood is our regular daily meditation sessions, live on Zoom. They take place at 10.30am in the morning and 7pm in the evening, Monday to Friday. Why not come and have a go? Visit our home page www.mindfulnessassociation.net to join.
Another daily life practice which might help with the January blues is to pause and reflect ‘What am I most grateful for in my life right now?’ Then spend a few moments noticing any felt sense of gratitude in the body. How does it feel? You might like to set a gratitude alarm on your phone so that you remember.
May you be happy and create the causes for happiness in your life.
• Heather will be teaching an eight week Mindfulness Based Health Living Course online on Tuesday evenings from 18th April – you can read more about that HERE.
• Heather also teaches on our Masters degree programs, please CLICK HERE for more information.