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I recently read the following:Two employees working

“Monday 19th January 2015 is ‘Blue Monday’ – arguably the most miserable day of the year for workers in the UK. Christmas is over, those New Year’s resolutions have been broken and everyone’s feeling the January blues.”

Talk about setting up expectations……………… expecting the worst, predicting future negative behaviours etc!

I notice also how much power people give to the expected weather. 

Weather forecasts are useful – up to a point; you can wear a raincoat instead of a coat if rain is expected, take a scarf, gloves and hat if temperatures are expected to drop outdoors, but I notice that people immediately start to imagine what the rain/cold/wind is going to be like and how it will make them feel. This indicates that weather forecasters do not only predict weather but initiate anxiety around the weather outcome.

Many people in our nation have become anxious about weather, health scares, terrorism, child abuse to name just a few. It is right to take sensible, appropriate  precautions but continually kicking off the ‘fight or flight’ response in our body with fearful thinking is exhausting at best and causes serious ill health at worst.

Returning to the January prediction, personally, I had a low key Christmas, have not made any resolutions but am continuing a changed eating plan, feel stimulated by fresh days, enjoy wearing my winter fleecy snugs and love the cosy winter evenings with the curtains closed and the occasional glass of mulled wine!

Let’s not set ourselves up to have the ‘blues’ but work with the opportunities the winter brings –

  • go to bed early and have a longer, nourishing sleep,
  • enjoy hot, flavourful soups and stews,
  • go for a bracing walk at lunch time to awaken the tiger in you!

This will enhance your motivation and zest for life/work. 

Shake off the gloom mongers  and  be a beacon of health and positivity this January – be a January ‘bright’ – I  dare you!

Ann McCracken leads our Achieving Wellbeing and Building Resilience through Managing Stress training day on April 14. 


Ann McCracken is a Director of AMC2 and the vice president of the International Management Association (ISMA UK) – the professional body for stress management Practitioners.

She specialises in developing a positive and resilient working culture in organisations by introducing effective strategies in performance and wellbeing at all levels. The effectiveness of such a positive working culture is measured and assessed using AMC2 Corporate Diagnostic innovative surveys which include measurement of psychosocial factors, stress and wellbeing. Having initially trained as a scientist, she carried out research with DEFRA and consultancy in the NHS.

She spent 10 years in Education before retraining as a stress management practitioner in 1996. She is the author of Stress Gremlins©, regularly writes/broadcasts and is an external lecturer at Westminster University. She is also a Key Note/Motivational speaker/Conference Chair.

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