As we head towards “Blue Monday”, claimed to be the worst day of the year for many, York therapist Andrea Morrison is on a mission to cheer us up.
Three years ago Andrea seemed to have it all. She was a high flying barrister and a law tutor at York University, had three beautiful children and a great husband.
But life was grinding her down.
“I was working long hours and travelling the length and breadth of the country. I was separated most days from my children and my father had recently passed away,” Andrea said.
“In November 2008 I ended up with pneumonia and by 2010, I had developed chronic fatigue syndrome. I now know that this was the best thing to have happened to me, as I finally had to stop and think.
“This gave me the chance to become the person that I wanted to be.”
She has tried many techniques and therapies, adapted the ones that worked to best suit her and created some of her own. And it is these ideas she shares in her new book, Feel Good Factor In 30 Days.
“By taking lots of small actions in your life, you can make big changes to your levels of happiness, and Blue Monday is a great day to start taking action,” she said.
Feel Good Factor In 30 Days is published on January 20 – Blue Monday – so called because of a combination of depressing factors. Christmas is long gone but the credit card bills have just arrived, pay day is some time off and we’re stuck the depths of winter.
Tips for a happier life
“Today decide to smile! Notice what happens to the people around you when you smile – the chances are they will smile back, so you are not only making yourself feel better, but you are making others around you feel better too.”
Be realistic not perfect
“Think about what causes your stress – make sure it isn’t your expectations. So today, try and alter your expectations and see what happens, learn to repeat the mantra ‘OK these things happen’ instead of questioning ‘why does this always happen to me?’.”
Break the same old same old
“Do you ever feel like every day is just a re-run of the day before? At lunchtime or in a break or just for five minutes do something different!
“It might be that you read a bit of a book in a local park, have a coffee in a different café, or simply walk a different way to work. It can be absolutely anything. Change your routine – just a tiny bit and start to live your day.”
Clear the decks
“It’s time for a good old fashioned clear out – it could be anything a drawer, a cupboard, a box with stuff in or a whole room – whatever is bugging you, just do it.”
Focus on now
“Try not to think about anything else apart from what you are doing at that moment in time. The object is to enjoy that moment and to remain in that moment, not the past or in the future.
“So the next time you are enjoying a coffee – enjoy it – don’t think about what happened this morning or what might happen this afternoon or how are you going to pay the rent etc. Instead, sit there having a moment of calm.”
- Feel Good Factor In 30 Days is published by Eden House Publishing, and available on Amazon, price £5.99
- Andrea Morrison is the director of Holistic Health Zone, a new online resource for holistic therapists due to be launched at the end of January 2014. She is also a clinical reflexologist and is the owner of Eden House Holistic in Upper Poppleton