Why not have an inky black Monday?
Blue Monday, or Inky Black Monday as I prefer to call it, is allegedly the lowest point of the year. In reality it was created by the travel industry in 2004 to encourage us to book a holiday!
With dark days and long nights, credit card bills arriving after the extravagance of the festive season and many other factors, it is easy to see why some people would find this day difficult, but I don’t think that feeling is isolated to this particular day.
I am a big believer in our ability to shift our mood though, and as always, there are many things we can do to change how we feel about this day. I would start by not acknowledging it, if I’m honest, but there is so much in the media about it at this time of year, I felt it was better to confront the issue head on.
What can we do about it?
Well, there are lots of things we can do:
- Ensure we are getting some fresh air, preferably going for a walk or taking some exercise
- Eat more vegetables and make sure we are getting all the vitamins we need especially as we probably aren’t getting enough sunlight
- Sleep more. This time of year we need more sleep but we often fight our natural urges because we are unaware of the changes we need to accommodate.
- (and this one won’t surprise you!) Write!
Why does writing help?
Writing can be really beneficial for your mental wellbeing. It allows you a safe space to air your thoughts, to be completely free with your opinions and ideas. You can untangle thoughts that might be perplexing you and find solutions to problems while you write.
The healing benefits of writing by hand are countless. There have been several studies proving that taking just 5-10 minutes a day to write, preferably by hand, boosts your immune system, lowers blood pressure and anxiety, can heal physical wounds and even cure cancer. If it can do all this, surely it can easily help lift our mood a little at this difficult time of year? Why not give it a try, and we can re-name this day Inky Black Monday!
What do I need to do?
The best thing is you don’t need any fancy equipment, any special skills, or even that much time to help yourself.
Simply grab something to write on and something to write with and get writing. You might feel a bit silly at first and not know what to write, but just keep writing something. Even if you just write: “this is stupid, why am I even doing this…” until something else appears on the page. It is this point, when you think you have nothing to say and then words begin to appear on the page, that the real magic happens. This is when you start to have little light bulb moments and you can discover some incredible inner truths. Don’t believe me? Try it!
Top 5 tips
This doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming, you can literally just start writing on anything, anywhere. However, if you want to make it a daily ritual here are my top 5 tips:
- Find somewhere quiet where you are unlikely to be disturbed.
- Get a notebook you really like writing in and use a pen or pencil you enjoy writing with.
- Light a candle. Candlelight is warm and comforting and it makes your writing time feel sacred and special.
- Don’t filter or edit. This is easier said than done but the real benefits of writing in this way require you to just write everything that appears in your head without worrying whether it makes sense, without worrying about grammar or whether your handwriting is neat enough. Just write, this isn’t for anyone else’s benefit but yours, it doesn’t matter what it looks like or how you have spelled something.
- Have fun! Make your writing time something you look forward to. Grab your favourite mug and make your favourite hot drink. Put on some music you enjoy and just enjoy yourself.
If you haven’t tried this type of therapeutic writing before this is the perfect time to try it. Let’s turn Blue Monday into Inky Black Monday and glide through this day without any stress or anxiety.
If writing more is one of your goals for this year, why not join us for our new monthly membership, InkWell Scribes where we will be giving your writing prompts and lots of tips and tricks about writing not just for your wellbeing, but also for business.
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