How to survive November … and feel good about it


November is here. And with it, at least here in Luxembourg, rainy, colder days with little sunlight. At work, gloom spreads across the corridors. Everybody whines and whinges. Depression is palpable. In the evenings the city looks even more deserted than ever. The wolves howl, there has already been the first sighting of a polar bear near Fentange… (no, not really, I am joking, it was in Itzig :).
While I confess that I, too, tend to succumb to the general atmosphere of despair, this year my fiancée Lucia, who works as a life coach, ( came up with the 21-day method for changing your negative attitudes and becoming a more positive person.
Here’s the deal:
in the period of 21 days there are five tasks for you to do:
1) at the end of the day you write down three things that happened during the day that you feel grateful for,
2) you choose one of those things and you describe it in greater detail. The point is to relive the experience once again to bring back the positive feelings,
3) random acts of kindness: you do something kind during the day – you offer a piece of chocolate to a colleague in the next office, you write an email to someone in which you say something positive about that person, you help someone in the street – anything that will make you feel better,
4) you do some physical activity – you walk to work instead of taking the bus, you go jogging, to the gym or to the swimming pool, anything,
5) you find some time during the day to meditate or at least do something to train your mindfulness – you do an activity with as much focus and feeling of being present as possible, e.g. you eat your lunch with you mind focussed on every bite you take.

After 21 days you and the people around you should already see a positive change in your behaviour.
It’s my second day today. I will try to keep you informed how I proceed. And why don’t you try it out for yourselves? We can swap stories at the end… ;).


After work


They came from work at the same time. He did some tidying up while she cooked asparagus and vegetarian sausages. She did not make a salad because of the E.coli scare that was on at the moment. They brought their plates to the balcony. The wind was slightly chilly so he went back to the room to fetch a hoodie. She was wrapped in her black anorak. They ate in almost total silence needing to purge their heads after a day at work. He asked her if she was tired. She nodded. They sat in silence eating their asparagus and soya sausages and looking at the park below where a girl was walking a golden retriever. He was rather restless. He carried a big branch in his mouth from one place to another. he would then lie down, chew on it for a while and then get up again, take the piece of wood to another place and then lie down again. This would happen over and over. The girl kept calling him: “Diego, Diego!”. But Diego did what he wanted. The girl eventually got up from the bench, tied Diego on a leash and walked away with him.
After a while they started to be cold, so they got up to leave. As they were leaving the balcony, the clock on the nearby church tower struck seven times. They stopped and listened for a while and then went inside. Behind the window, their Tibetan flags were flapping in the wind. Apart from that there was complete silence.