February in the UK is a tough month for morale. The weather is often dark and dismal and the friendliness of Christmas has disappeared into the distance. Spring flowers, blossom and encouraging green shoots will soon help to lift most of us out of our blues. During this next month, however, people who are prone to low confidence and depression will tend to sink even further down in their dumps. So now is the time for some serious morale boosting.
The good news is that this means lots of treats and fun must now be programmed into your diary for the next month! And the lower your spirits are, the more you will need them NOW.
“Ugh!” might be the reaction of some of you. I know because I have been there many times. When my spirits were truly at a low ebb, the very thought of treats and fun would be anathema to me. I even found cheerful people made me feel worse – especially when they tried to cheer me up.
The essence of my problem was that what I was doing to lift my spirits wasn’t the right ‘medicine’ for me. It may have worked well for other people, but not for me. In the end, using trial and error, I did find what worked and I now make sure that I have plenty of my kind of treats and fun at this bleak time of year.
The secret of finding out the morale boosts that are right for you is to test them out and watch out carefully for any negative side effects. I call these ‘stings in the tail’. Some common examples are:
– incapacitating hangovers
– unwanted weight-gain
– shortage of money
– uncomfortable follow-on feelings such as guilt, loneliness or low confidence
– relationship difficulties
One of my books, 101 Morale Boosters, might give some good ideas to help kick you into action: https://gaellindenfield.com/gaels-books
And don’t forget that one of the fastest and most satisfying ways to give your own morale a boost is to boost that of someone else.
Now, here is your Confidence Challenge for the next few weeks:
- Even if you are not feeling too low, try out a new kind of morale boost for yourself once a week. Note down how it made you feel both at the time and the day after. If the treat left you with uncomfortable feelings, discuss these with a good friend. Then try it out once more before dismissing it as unsuitable. (Sometimes new experiences will feel uncomfortable at first)
- Programme into your schedule 5-10 minutes of treat time each day. (Watch out for those ‘stings in the tail’ – no chocolate bars, perhaps?)
- Ensure that you give 3 morale boosts to other people each week. These could be merely a compliment that you have never given them before, making a coffee for someone who is looking stressed, or sending a card or email to someone whose spirits may need a lift.
- Make morale boosting a subject of social conversation. This will help you to pick up tips and become more aware of why one person’s treat may be another person’s idea of punishment!
Very best wishes