Michele Attias Life Coach

Attitude Is Infectious Moods Are Not

Monday 15th January 2018, was referred to as Blue Monday. Officially the most depressing day of the year.

The cold weather, mounting debts from the holiday season, coupled with the realisation that you might have already discarded the new years’ resolutions, can all contribute to a low mood,

There were even suggestions we should take the day off work, hide under a duvet on that day, watch multiple feel-good movies and consume large amounts of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

I’m not a great fan of Mondays, in fact since I became self-employed, Monday is now midweek for me.

But even with the dire British weather and rain pounding on my window that day, I felt pretty great. And no I don’t always feel like this on Mondays.

It was surprising, bearing in mind the statistics, that no low moods overtook my day.

I believe the mood (if any) is due to a number of factors, and let’s face it, not everyone is full of the joys of spring when new years eve arises.

I don’t think low moods in January are attributable to festivities ending, but more about what’s next?

I find that just before the holiday season, we have a selection of adverts showing every glitzy gift available for purchase. Before the presents have barely been put away, Boxing day comes in to introduce the sales.

I guess there is even more to consume.

Shoppers pile up in shopping centres and queue up outside shops in Regent Street in London ready to plough into anyone daring to take the sweater that is now half price, off their hands.

Then the day after new year, the travel adverts begin. With half price holidays being advertised. Television scenes showing families lounging happily by the pool, with half-price flights and all-inclusive offers, yet again, something else to plan for.

Except for mid-January, there is none of this, other than adverts for Weight Watchers and Slimming World, which makes us run for the hills just thinking of the weight that has piled up over the past month.

I find that people go from one thing to the other, which makes it hard to live in the present moment.

Low mood can transpire from the emptiness of not having the next thing available. It’s the feeling we get when we come back from a great vacation we have been planning for months, escaping our daily grind.

We arrive at the airport in our matching suitcase combination bought especially for the occasion and stare blankly at the life awaiting us. Without a vacation, festivities, gifts or anything to look forward to.

What if we created a life where we build in components from our vacation?

I was working with a client who had travelled to South America for a vacation and she said she wished she felt the same when she was at home in London. What was different? She was the same person in both places, but her thinking had shifted, there was ease and an effortless in everything she was doing that felt so different when she was abroad.

She said that she wanted to keep travelling back to South America to experience this.

I wondered why she would need to travel to the other side of the world if she could feel this way when she’s home. There hasn’t got to be such a disparity between both experiences.

She could create components of what she had there, book a massage once a month, surround herself with amazing nurturing friends, take an art/dance/music class, so that the life she has at home is already optimised.

What if you didn’t have to take a vacation away from your life?

I remember years ago feeling as if the only time I could feel wellbeing, joy and happiness was in my hometown Gibraltar. So I continued to visit countless times a year, I called it my vitamin pill, because I felt so amazing just being there and it invigorated me for my return to London.

I saw London as the experience I had to tolerate, and Gibraltar as the highlight of my year.

I had a huge insight one afternoon whilst in Gibraltar, I realised that the only reason I felt better there was that family was present, but if I really thought about it, there had been plenty of times when I had not felt so great in that environment.

Gibraltar had become Neverland for me, and I could be the Peter Pan who never quite grew up.

I realised that it was not the location but my mindset about the location that was making a difference.

I realised that if my entire family moved to the UK, Gibraltar might not be such an inviting prospect.

That’s when everything changed, I began to love London, even (shockingly) the Autumn weather which brought the most beautiful colours to the scenery. I had been so pre-occupied with tolerating the country, that for the first time I began to see the beautiful autumnal colours come to life.

I found the winter weather cosy, I loved the open spaces, the anonymity I have and the tremendous professional opportunities there are present for both my daughters and me.

I’m truly grateful I stayed, but more so, that I connected with a country which has helped me grow up and develop into the person I am today.

Gibraltar is great, but so is London.

So how can you create a life which isn’t dependent on what’s next, which isn’t reliant on external factors, but more about what we create in each moment?

Joy, happiness and wellbeing are not within our environment, they are in us.

If we suspend the expectation of what each environment should provide us with, we begin to own it, work it, even in a sassy way.

If you want joy, be joy.

If you want love, be love.

If you want life to feel like one long festivity, create more incredible components into your life.

Join events whilst you’re in your home environment, engage with live meetup groups in your area (rather Than random Facebook groups) where you can meet the kind of people you would meet on holiday.

Imagine you’re the next Steven Spielberg creating a Hollywood blockbuster movie called ‘Your life.’

Who is the main character in the movie? What other characters would you include in the movie, what scenes would you like to add and what experiences would you like them to have?

Become Steven Spielberg, and shout ‘cut’ when something no longer serves you, and it no longer belongs in your ‘life movie.’

This is how we create a life that feels like a vacation, even if you’re employed, or run your own business, and of course, you’ll want to travel abroad experience the rich cultures and traditions which enrich your world,

But know that the world can be enriched right here right now.

I remember someone asking me a while back if I would travel to a pretty unsafe, far out location to work with underprivileged communities. A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance of doing this, I would have thought that this would create more meaning, and perhaps it might have done.

But much as I have always dreamed of doing this, my priority is my vision for my coaching business, publishing my new book and continuing to be present for my daughters. Making sure I stay safe for them and for all that I want to create in my life. Besides, I don’t need to travel to a community in the back of beyond. I only have to take a short train ride to the Embankment in London to find homeless, poor people who I could make a difference to.

When I choose to do more, I volunteer for refugees one Sunday a month which I love. No need to travel far, I can find it right here, barely a few miles from where I live.

Be more resourceful with what you’ve already got.

I Imagine that if we relied less on clinging onto the festivities and just gifted friends presents when we wanted to, celebrated the year when it felt right, and we created our own personal amazing moments, Blue Monday would cease to exist.

In its place would be a normal Monday, great for some and not so great for others, just like each week and just how life tends to pan out.

If this article resonated with you, what would you like to do differently to optimise your life?

self development