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Getting over Blue Monday?

By some accounts, Blue Monday was this week.

What is Blue Monday, you ask?

It goes back to a campaign created by Dr. Cliff Arnall and Sky Travel in 2005, and it’s the third Monday in January.

It is a pseudo-scientific calculation that considers weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing your New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and feeling of a need to take action.

The idea is that all of that is enough to put you in a “blue” mood. Of course, the solution for your low feelings would be to book travel! Since then a campaign was started called #stopbluemonday.

I think Blue Monday is when you look ahead and see all you have set to accomplish this year and start to feel overwhelmed when you have barely gotten started.

Many of my private clients and those in my Members’ Studio have started the year off great. In fact, I’m blown away by their early results.

Others are struggling and realize that they have too much on their plate.

I also see pluses and minuses in some of my clients in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss. Some are struggling with the concepts. I see this with people who asked about the program and then didn’t follow through or tried something else and were frustrated with the results.

And, yes, part of me feels this way sometimes, too.

What I start down that overwhelm path of thinking, I remember the “whelmed” model that one of my husband’s clients came up with.

Whelmed is that space between underwhelmed and  overwhelmed, where you are in “the zone.” People who are whelmed are clear about what they do and are determined to get it done.

I can always tell when I am in the whelmed zone. I feel really productive, energized and thrilled at what I have accomplished at the end of the day.

Here are six tips to help you move out of overwhelm and into whelm:  

Learn how to recognize when you are getting too overwhelming.

If you can tell you are on the verge – or already there –  then you take action. First thing I like to do is take a breath, or as I have been known to tell myself, “Get a grip.”

Remember to look at the facts.

Sometimes we confuse our impressions of what needs to be done with the truth. Write down everything that needs to be done.

Focus is key.

You need to be clear about what your goals are. Is everything on your “to-do” list really necessary? Take a look at the list you created above and follow the “four Ds.” If something is not a priority, see if you can Delete it from the list. Next, look for those items you can Delegate to someone else. Third, what can you Defer until sometime later without creating problems? And, for those items you can defer, again consider if they are really necessary.


OK, you have probably winnowed down your list to something that might be a bit more manageable. Now, what are the three top priorities on your list? Put a time for them in your calendar. And, allow more time than you think. This is one of the reasons I can get into overwhelm, trying to do more than I physically can in the allotted time.

Now get going with the list.

This is the fourth “D” – Do –  and let go of perfection as you work on your list. I have a sign in my office that says, “Progress, not Perfection.” Some people use the term Imperfect Action here.

And remember at the end of the day, if something doesn’t get done, you are probably the only one who knows it.

I learned that one from my mother, who told me as I was stressed out about some little something that wasn’t what I expected for my wedding day. She reminded me that the only one who knew that the color on my wedding cake didn’t exactly match the color on the bridesmaid’s dresses was me.

Here’s a favorite quote that sums up for me the feeling of being “whelmed”:

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.
It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing;
it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”
Margaret Thatcher

It’s your turn!

Do you get overwhelmed about this time of year? What do you do about it?

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