Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Beating Blue Monday

Three Sisters Knit Blog; Blue Monday; Mandala
Colouring or anything creative this time of year will help beat the blues.

Have you heard about Blue Monday? Well a few years ago some group used an algorithm to identify the saddest day of the year for those of us living in the northern hemisphere. And this year, that day is January 18. It is the confluence of cold weather, time between holidays, lack of daylight, and influx of bills.

But Three Sisters Knit is all about the happy! So what are we doing to maintain our happiness levels? Well, I think we spend a lot of time with one another. Although we work from our own homes, we chat online constantly. Occasionally we FaceTime, especially when we want to show each other a yarn or an almost-completed project. I think Shelagh even mentioned the time we video chatted online while she was in Florida so she could show me how to turn a heel on a sock! We are the greatest supporters, sounding boards, and cheerleaders of one another. And fortunately, on the odd occasion we do feel blue, it's at different times.

Of course, we focus on doing what we love—knitting! So we look at patterns, check our stash of gorgeous yarns, and plan what we'll work on next. This year we are working at being focused and organized about implementing out ideas. Oddly, this doesn't take the fun out of our projects: it leaves me really excited to think about all the beautiful things we're about to make. It's as though the passion Shelagh and I—and before that, our mother and Irene—share for our craft burns brighter and stronger. Being focused on our plans actually allows time for our creativity to flourish.

And I think the final activity we do to maintain happiness levels is practising gratitude. This one is actually something I am working on strengthening in my life. I was doing really well there for a while in 2015, but then I kind of got out of the habit of being thankful and I need to get back into the habit. Shelagh and I are following a suggestion from author Elizabeth Gilbert: at the beginning of each year, she—and now we—find a big, empty jar and label it our HAPPINESS JAR. Here's some of what Ms. Gilbert wrote:
Every day, at the end of the day, I write down the happiest moment of my day, and I put it in the jar. . . . There is no simpler or less-demanding spiritual practice in my life than this one—when I literally take note of my gratitude for a moment in my day when things felt good, or I felt lucky, or I merely remembered that I was alive.
It has been almost two weeks and it's amazing how wonderful it is to see all those little pieces of paper filling up our jars! I keep my Mason jar on my desk, so when I'm working online I can look up at my jar and instantly feel thankful—and a little better too.

So what do you do to tackle the January blues?

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