Life

Make Blue Monday positive: Start living your life, not just tolerating it says life coach

Portglenone-based life coach Siobhan Kearney

WHILE the science behind calling today, January 21, 'the most depressing day of the year' might be questionable, it has led to the third Monday of what is unquestionably the month in which we struggle most being dubbed Blue Monday in recent years.

In any event, Northern Ireland life and executive coach Siobhan Kearney sees today as a good day to start living our life, not simply tolerating it.

“Many of us start a new year looking back on the year that’s gone with reflection and feel miserable as we spent most of it tolerating work situations, relationships, bad habits or other people’s behaviour," she says.

Rather than focusing on the negative, Co Antrim-based Siobhan, who spent several years heading one of the north’s best-known depression charities and now runs her own business, At One Wellbeing, says it's time to make a positive change.

“We instantly feel overwhelmed with the thought of making any sort of change. Our minds become cluttered by past experiences and these can form barriers that can seem totally insurmountable. We become stuck in a rut of negative thinking and feeling totally demotivated and depressed."

Siobhan’s advice to tackle challenges is to start looking at them as a series of tolerations – and Blue Monday is an ideal day to start identifying and addressing them.

“Once I mention tolerations it introduces a whole new way of thinking. Nobody wants to reach the age of 70 and look back on life and say, ‘Didn’t I do well? I tolerated so many things in my life and none of them made me happy’."

Here are her five steps to stop tolerating and start living your life:

:: Look after your mental health and physical health – both are equally important to living a life you love

:: Make a plan – it sounds simple, but when you begin to write what you’re tolerating it can be a real motivator for change

:: Once you have a plan then set some realistic goals for change – for example “I want to lose a stone weight”

:: Give a timeframe when you want to achieve the goal – if you want to lose a stone in a fortnight then you may already have set yourself up to fail – so always be realistic

:: Finally, act – don’t leave it one more day. Do it and do it now.

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