Blue Monday? You Choose.
Today, the middle Monday in January is famously known as Blue Monday. The story goes that this is the day we all feel at our most miserable. In Blue Monday? You choose, we look at this media narrative and consider how it doesn’t have to be true for you.
Blue Monday is when the post-Christmas credit card bill hits your letterbox. It’s over two weeks into the year, and chances are those good habits and intentions you set on January 1st have started to slip, or at least feel like a drag. Maybe you’re doing dry January and desperate for a G&T. Or maybe the gym doesn’t have quite the appeal it did last week.
And, while I don’t have a crystal ball to see what the weather will be like, chances are, if you’re in the UK, the sky will be more grey than bright too. There’s every reason to feel blue.
It’s not your destiny
The truth is, a bit like Divorce Monday, Blue Monday is more media fairytale than destiny. There’s no magic about the day to mean it has to bring you down. In fact, reframing Blue Monday is a good way to reinvigorate yourself and carry on carrying on!
If today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, then tomorrow you’re on your way back up, right? And you have the whole year ahead of you to own. It’s just a day and as we’ve already discussed, you get to choose your mood and your decisions.
Sometimes, circumstances are set against you. If you’re at the end of your credit limit, your ex is being a four-star pillock and the daily grind deep in winter is making you feel low, which honestly is ok. It’s happening and there’s no denying it.
When I say you get to choose your mood I don’t mean you pretend your reality isn’t happening. If it’s raining outside, putting on sun cream and pretending it’s July is just likely to leave you hypothermic – you’re not going to change the weather. It is honest and valid to recognise that life is hard.
The choice is about what you do next. That’s where you get to make a difference. And sometimes, the best thing you can do is stop. Rest. Seek help and support if you need it.
You don’t have to be Eeyore
This weekend, I ran the first-ever Get Divorce Ready Live in London. It was fantastic to have so many divorcing women in one room on Winnie The Pooh Day! It would be easy to expect a room full of Eeyores, but no! These ladies were enthusiastic, engaged and smiling. I experienced chatter, banter, and connection throughout the day. We talked about changing your point of view, about decisions to change.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is flip your story. Finances at zero, weather shocking, relationship with your ex at rock bottom, mood low? Then there’s nowhere to go but up. Make a list of what and who you do have in your corner, and start to focus on that.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is make a plan. Or remember one small thing that makes you feel a little better: a walk outside, coffee with a friend, making a to-do list, reading a book. And do it.
You get to decide whether Blue Monday is a reason to rest, hibernate and gather your strength (which can be a good call), or a time to look forward, create a vision for 2020 and start taking action (which can also be a good call).
Make your move
However much Blue Monday is a media creation, it’s also an opportunity. It’s a time to pause. As we’ve seen, you get to decide what it means to you. And then, you act accordingly. A decision is all very well, but until you make your move, it counts for nothing.
Today is the first Monday after Get Divorce Ready Live! As you read this I’m coming down from the adrenaline high of it all. It’s going to be a day where my team and I reflect on what worked well and what could be better for next time. We’ll be looking at the testimonials and comments of the delegates that participated to learn lessons to make the next event even more awesome.
Unfortunately, in the corporate world at least, most people who attend conferences and events have a very nice time, and are all buzzed up on the day, but then go away and do nothing. All that knowledge, all those new networks left to wither and die. I really hope that won’t happen with my Get Divorce Ready attendees, as we put a lot of work into creating workbooks and having a personalised action focus to the day.
But, ultimately, I can’t do the work for them. It’s up to those women who attended to make their next move. And I’m confident they will, because they were action-takers in the first place – they got their ticket and they showed up. It was nerve-wracking for me, designing and running my first live event. And I’m grateful to every single person involved, from the attendees, to the speakers, to the behind the scenes support for making it happen. Sometimes these things need a leap of faith, and, together, we made it.
It starts with you
For me, it’ll be another day of clients and calls. I hope, for the women who came on Saturday, it’s a day to move forward in their journey. They have the tools to create their personalised plan, they have answers to their financial and legal questions, and they can put the wheels in motion. For some, that might mean reconciliation rather than divorce at all. Others may start putting in boundaries around communication. For others, it might mean untangling financial knots that have been long neglected.
If you didn’t attend, you can still decide to act. What’s Blue Monday going to mean for you? How are you going to move forward with your divorce?
How to be a Lady Who Leaves
Whether it’s a time to rest and recuperate, or a time to do the thing you’ve been putting off forever, my book, ‘How To Be A Lady Who Leaves’ is a gentle, clear, action-focussed way to start. You’ll get an overview of everything you need to know about preparing, emotionally, practically and legally, for divorce. And what order to do it in.
You can get your hands on a copy here At £14.99 it’s a no-brainer.
So let make sure this Blue Monday works for you. If you want more support as you navigate your divorce decisions and actions, that’s just what I’m here for.
Just book in a call and we’ll take it from there.
Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is author of the Amazon best selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com