The winter blues is real – the dark and dreary weather can really affect our mood and make us feel slightly depressed, which is what I’ve been feeling lately. Higher melatonin levels, hormone changes and all that. But I can’t blame it all on the cold weather. Not only do I want to tackle the winter blues symptoms, I’m talking about tackling our mindset in general to think more positively about life.
What is it that gets us down? How can we change our mindset so that we don’t think negatively about things? Dwelling on things that you can’t change or worrying about things that eat you up inside doesn’t change anything, it just makes you fall deeper into this depressive cycle.
Life is short, and life is what you make of it. So let’s try and make the most of this life that we’ve got and focus more on how we can live our best lives.
Be kind to yourself
Sometimes we are our own worst critics. When things don’t go according to plan or something is slightly off from perfect, we can be too harsh on ourselves. It is good to set goals and expectations to work towards, as that is part of our self-growth and personal development, but what we tend to do is look at all the things we can’t do or haven’t been able to achieve, picking out all the flaws.
Instead of beating yourself up, try to focus on what you did achieve, and celebrate that instead. It’s a habit that we need to slowly adjust to, and it takes time. Instead of feeling like a failure when you didn’t complete everything on your to-do list, turn it into a positive because most of the list did get done. It’s the whole “cup half full/half empty” connotation, but it’s true. When we think about our cup being half full, we can think more optimistically about things.
Let go of the past
What’s done is done, there’s a reason why it’s called the past. We can’t change what has happened previously, so instead of dwelling on it, we should learn from our mistakes and past experiences. I know it’s easier said than done, and I am definitely one of those people who find it hard to let go because I’m very sentimental and I really treasure the things that make me happy. The memories just replay in my mind over and over like a broken record. But what we have to understand is that our past experiences is what makes us who we are now, it builds our character. So don’t regret what has happened before, instead embrace it and be grateful for the lessons it has taught you. From every experience, there’s a lesson you can take from it.
Learn to forgive
No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. Even if you never got an apology from that person and they probably don’t feel sorry towards you for what they’ve done, forgive them. Holding a grudge against someone will only hurt you and prevent you from moving on and letting go of all the bitterness.
Don’t be a people-pleaser
Remember, you can’t please everyone. Not every single person is going to like you, so don’t try to be someone you’re not to get the approval of others. Just be kind and understand that they’re different from you. When you are true to yourself that is when you’ll be truly happy. As they say, “those that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind”.
Even if you’re not in the mood, say yes more often to trying new things or going out with friends and family. Being in the company of others can lift your mood, and trying out new activities can lead to finding a new hobby. Saying yes to new opportunities can open doors to new career paths or progression, meeting new people that you can connect with and making new life experiences. It can be hard to say yes if you’re afraid of the unknown, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and trust that everything will be alright.
So hopefully these tips can help you to strive towards living a more positive life by changing the way we think. Try to appreciate the here and now, by living a mindful life. We are in this together, and remember that you are not alone in the way you feel.