Challenges: Remaining Optimistic

By Cyndy Bolton

I'm trying not to let the groundhog's prediction this year become a self-fulfilling prophecy. With Wiarton Willie predicting 6 more weeks of winter and Punxsutawney Phil also sitting in favour of returning to his hole, I considered myself outnumbered.

When the blahs of late winter set it it's hard to get motivated to do anything except breathe. I know some of you are in accordance with me here. This is the time of year we seasonal dwellers say "Enough is enough". Finding a way to inspire ourselves is sometimes difficult and challenging. It forces us to look within at what our personal motivators are and stir them up out of the deep winter's slumber.

So what did I do about turning my blahs around? First, I tidied up around the house and completed the mundane task of washing the window coverings. I felt a tiny sense of accomplishment for something this minimal. Then I proceeded to track back through my emails, follow them up. I actually made a new business connection.

I looked to a good friend for inspiration, someone who is always giving me honest and true insights. We all have these people in our lives. We just need to recognize how important they are to us. We need to ask them for help more often by putting our egos aside. These people respond positively to being needed and are creative with their suggestions. By being good listeners, they are great communicators. One of these dear friends gave me a coin. It's an artisan piece that has the word "Yes" on one side and "No" on the other. I often will ask the question as I am flipping it in the air "Will the day get any better?" Human behaviour is quite entertaining. I sometimes find myself flipping the coin until the majority of the answers are "Yes". I flip it until four out of five dentists say my day will be good.

Next I rewarded myself with a couple of my favourite treats from Starbucks. I hadn't dropped by for a visit in quite a while and I knew that vanilla latte and molasses cookie really, really missed me. It's a funny thing that we find comfort in food. It asks for nothing and leaves us with a warm, smooth sense of reward. Sweet, warn, unconditional love, until we step on the scale. This type of reward only lasts until we are hungry again, and the emotional blahs return.

I worked for a few hours and then though about lunch. I WILL EAT HEALTHY! I nuked some Edamame - soy beans, and ate them up. They say that soy is good for middle aged women, especially those of us in the western world - we don't get enough. Oh yes, and my daily vitamins, maybe they have a secret blend of ingredients that help with the blahs. I also make a red tea and return to the office for a bit more work.

Lastly, I tried my standard pick-me-up of going for a run on the treadmill. Usually this gets the endorphins flowing and makes me feel like I accomplished something truly personal. Either it was the exercise, or a combination of all of the above that helped to get the positive juices flowing. It seems that stimulating my optimistic nature was not the responsibility of only one catalyst, but a combination of personal ingredients that makes the recipe come to life. My process of stirring it up will most certainly be different from yours, but we face the same circumstances from time to time. Dig deep, stir it up and realize your catalysts. When you put a few of them together, you'll be back on track and the blahs will be behind you again.