Hello November, with your long, dark evenings and reluctant mornings! I read a great article the other day about the approaching winter months. It was by India Knight in the Times, and it had echoes of Michael Heppel’s “Flip It” too. It encouraged us to see the positives in the dark, cold months that we’re about to experience here in the UK. We’re not talking to you, Southern Hemisphere. You can keep your long, hot summer, because who wants Christmas at 30+ degrees anyway? Oh, did that sound bitter? It wasn’t meant to be!
Anyway, back to good old Blighty, with its cold, dark winter months. Whilst the winter is not yet quite upon us, it strikes me, from having read the said article, that, actually, being warm and cosy does have its advantages. Oh, and by the way, I can’t recommend the “Fish” philosophy and books enough, and for the next few blogs, I’ll be relating the four “Fish” principles to dealing with the challenges that winter brings. So here we go, with the first cornerstone:
Choose your attitude
Sounds obvious, right? But when you wake up and it’s still dark, and you have to get up, and /or you travel to work in the dark, and come home in the dark, it’s challenging, particularly as those days go on, and on and on…
Before winter really sets in with a vengeance, use your time to start developing some extra motivational strategies. That way, by the time we get to January, you’ll be dealing with winter like the positive professional I know you are!
Here’s this week’s little task:
Make a list with 2 or 3 things you find challenging at this time of year.
Now, write down how you’d like to feel about each one.
Then brainstorm as many ways as you can think of to achieve that; nothing is too weird or wonderful. Concentrate on what small changes you could make, or routine you could introduce/reintroduce to help you to tweak your mindset (attitude) to feel the way you’d like to feel. The more ideas you have, the easier it will be to shortlist the best and most achievable.
Top tip: build in some self-care into your plan. It’s much easier to choose your attitude if your resilience is well-cared-for. Take care of you, whatever that means, however best you can do it. For me, it’s snuggly jumpers, socks, soft blankets, candles, walks in the crisp, cold air, keeping in touch with good friends, healthy, home-cooked comfort food, a good book. Making time for the things that nourish your soul is great support for your overall attitude.
Finally, apply your ideas. Easy? Maybe. Need some help? Get in touch; you know where I am.
Of course, the advantages of choosing your attitude can apply to any and every situation, and I’m not saying this is an overnight fix. But you do have control. And you do want a positive result, don’t you?