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Re-writing the script of January blues

Over the next few weeks, inevitably the newspapers and social media will soon be gleefully telling us that we should be feeling awful and that January is grim, cold, dark, finance limited and relentless - you will be sad and depressed.   In fact I’ve started to feel grim, cold and dark just thinking about it! I’ve conjured a picture in my head, a cinematic vista, of dark skies, rain lashed commuters and endless dark days. 


The Stories we tell ourselves

I’m completely ignoring the bright, crisp sunny day outside and the fact that I’m sat at home with my slippers on and snuggled under a heated blanket. I’ve told myself a story that all is going to be miserable and I’m filtering out all positive evidence to the contrary.

The stories we tell ourselves, the scripts running in our head, are enormously powerful.  They influence how we think, who we are, what we hope for and determine what we can achieve.  As humans we are hardwired to create narratives to help us make sense of the world, to capture our histories and to find meaning. And yet they are just that – a story, a narrative arc, a fiction of heroes and villains and epic quests. They can be life affirming or, as is the case with the January blues, utterly depressing and self-defeating.

Taking charge of the narrative


Luckily stories can be retold. We can re-write  and direct the narrative. Instead of making a punishing list of new year's resolutions I've committed this January to getting my red pen out and to start editing some of my scripts.

My plan

  • Day 1 - Get my reporter hat on.  I'm going to delve in to my sub-conscious and fact find. After doing anything, no matter how little (having my morning coffee, walking the dog, doing the school run) I will pause with my journal and write down the chatter in my head. I won't judge, engage or analyse - just report.

  • Day 2 - Start editing. I will be brave and look at my notes; who are the characters in my scripts? What are the themes? Are there more critical voices than empowering ones? The last time I did this exercise, a couple of years ago now, I was horrified at some of the mean things I was telling myself; you are embarrassing; you are going to fail again; what makes you think you can do this? I would not have wished my chatter on anyone. So my job on day two is to start challenging the stories and statements. Are they true or wholly true? Are there alternative perspectives? How can I turn up the volume on the empathetic, compassionate and kind voices in my head.

  • Day 3 - Publish a new script. I will create a new set of affirmative narratives for the new year. Prepare a list of affirmations that you are going to repeat to yourself at least ten times a day. I am strong; I am a capable, genuine and honest person who deserves contentment and love; My weaknesses make me strong; I have huge potential and can achieve what I set my mind to; I'm nice and I'd like to have me as a friend. Whenever that chatter starts to buzz in your head and your inner critic enters the scene - shout them down with a positive roar.

A fresh, clean and bright January

I'll let you know how I get on!  And yes we can all see January as cold, dark and devoid of hope and light.  But it can also be seen as a time for new beginnings, of renewal, of hope, a new chapter and a new story. 


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1 commento

Very lovely and very true. X

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