Blue Monday and Divorce Day – Don’t you just love January?!?
So we’ve reached Blue Monday already. It falls on the third Monday of January each year and is claimed to be the unhappiest, most depressing day of the year.
Is it any wonder when there’s so much collective trauma right now? Still recovering from the Pandemic and the endless political issues, it’s now been almost a year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
If only Blue Monday meant blue, sunny skies to kick start our week. Alas, the weather continues to soak me on almost every daily dog walk. Give me sunny frost over endless rain any day!
The cost of Christmas may now be catching up with you with credit card bills that might not be covered by your pay at the end of this long month. The job market has been dead for a good couple of months in the run up to Christmas and previously buoyant markets are pulling up the drawbridges, cutting and saving costs before it becomes too late. For many others, it already is. Investments have fallen along with house prices, interest rates and inflation are continuing on an upward trajectory.
Even if practically you’re doing OK financially, I’d wager a decent bet that you’re still falling into the trap of worrying about the soaring cost of living. Maybe you’re even feeling a little guilty if you’re in a good position when so many people aren’t?
Blue Monday is preceded by Divorce Day, the first working Monday of the year which has historically been the most popular day for partners to inform their spouses that they want a divorce.
The pressure of Christmas pushes many past breaking point and the lull afterwards gives people a chance to take stock. For 42% of all married people, the last ‘make or break’ Christmas becomes just that — the last one they’re together for.
The most common divorce age is between 40–44, with an average of 62% of divorce petitions petitioned by women. I certainly fit that demographic, as do most of my clients.
New Year Resolutions are often broken by now with diets being sabotaged and the boredom of Dry January setting in. My gym is already significantly quieter and I can get on machines again without having to queue so selfishly that’s not all bad I guess!
Everyone seems to still be recovering from sickness over Christmas and there’s some really nasty bugs going around. The Christmas Holidays seem to have done little to help people rest and recuperate, and for so many their next chance of a break and some extra Vitamin D might be as far away as the summer.
How are all of these interconnected?
All of this feeds into the Mental Health crisis we’re undergoing, it’s the new pandemic that shows no signs of reducing with figures soaring beyond measure. The stats are no way accurate because so many are suffering in silence with many more thankfully the multiple avenues of support available outside of the often pitiful healthcare services the NHS, governments and mainstream healthcare providers struggle to provide. That in itself is enough to make you utterly fed up and despondent. Ugh, pass the gin (joking)!
Worrying about our health can be counter productive. Relationships never improve by just stressing about them and we never recover from breakups without putting some effort in to our healing. Time doesn’t heal, it just makes things less, papering over the cracks often replacing the trauma with new worries that take over. But the wounds are still there, especially the deep ones that haven’t been metaphorically dug out, cleaned and stitched up. Leave them alone to heal themselves completely and those emotional wounds will progress into a bigger infection at some point. This can manifest in the same patterns being repeated in obvious or subtle ways. Spot the person who goes from one toxic relationship to another. That was me!
Money worries are one of the greatest health and wellbeing challenges we have to deal with. Worrying about money can negatively affect your mental health and for those people experiencing mental health problems it makes it harder to manage their finances.
Time off work, a drop in motivation and productivity can reduce income while creating even more stress, potentially effecting relationships again too.
The top reason given for Divorce in 2022 was ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’ (figures from the Office of National Statistics UK) which often includes money issues and disagreements over finances so the recorded stats for this specific issue could be much higher than what records indicate. In addition, Financial Abuse sometimes only comes to light or kicks in AFTER a breakup and the problem grows significantly. We may get less useful data in the future due to no-fault divorce coming into law in the UK in April 2022 and as not all divorces go to court, future figures will be less accurate. I’m not against no fault divorce but recognise that for some, not being able to state what their partner did wrong. even more disempowered having not had their reasons communicated or listened to. Even more reason to ‘do the work.’
You might be familiar with the following two quotes:
“Money makes the world go round”
Paul Van Der Merwe
I believe it’s your relationships with others, yourself and money that makes the world go round.
“Marriage is about love, divorce is about Money”
Sadly, never a truer word spoken. Let’s not forget the kids though!
A short exercise
Take three deep breaths while focussing on those key things and notice how similar you feel — you may feel uneasy, jittery, anxious or even panicked. That’s your body’s way of trying to tell you it doesn’t feel safe, triggering your amygdala to flood your nervous system with cortisol so you go into the classic ‘flight, fright or freeze’ response. Feelings about the three can be quite similar for many people. Even if the feelings are mild, they’re still happening and your body still wants you to take notice. If you don’t, the response will get bigger. The body can’t easily differentiate between a big threat or trauma or little ones and everyone’s response severity and frequency is different. Think of that part of you that makes all this stuff happen as being like a toddler — it will only be ignored or placated for so long and eventually could even go into a full blown melt down aka a panic attack, breakdown or an illness that forces you to finally rest. All it wants is your time, attention and love. Simple but not always easy, hence the reason you may need some help with it!
The complex and fascinating links between money and most other aspects of our lives, especially mental health and relationships are why I’m obsessed with Money Mindset. How we ‘do’ and feel about money is a conduit for how we do and feel about almost everything, ESPECIALLY relationships both with others but also with ourselves. All of this effects our emotions, the negative ones of which I am passionate about freeing my clients from!
You may have heard the statement ‘You can’t love someone else until you truly love yourself.’
Sadly, many see this as a vain, self indulgent act and don’t understand that without putting your own oxygen mask on first, you really aren’t able to help anyone else effectively. It’s a selfless act, not a selfish one!
Loving others can be hard. Loving ourselves is even harder and often takes many, many years to achieve especially if you’ve not had a good example or were lacking unconditional love as a child. We so often throw ourselves into unhappy relationships, even marriage to try to fill an emotional hole that no one else can fill but ourselves. It takes time, consistent effort and commitment, but the payoffs are out of this world! Sadly, most give up trying before they get the big benefits, thinking it’s not working or not worth the effort. I’m living proof that it is!
How can I get happy?
If January for you is just a bit of a down month for you, make sure you’re looking after yourself. Good sleep, good food, good hydration, good exercise, good friends and family. Sunlight. Ditch the NY Resolutions and instead set realistic and achievable goals and just be kinder and easier on yourself. Keep a check and monitor how your mood improves with the longer, warmer days and the actions you’re taking to improve things.
What if I’ve tried all of that and I need something more or different?
If you’re really struggling and the above won’t cut it, then looking for some external help is really important. If you’ve been traumatised then it’s essential. If you’re going through a big life change then you deserve to be supported through it. If you’ve got financial worries and stress, it’s not just financial advice you need. You could benefit hugely from some sessions with a Money Mindset coach, a positive money mindset course to heal your money wounds and trauma. It’s a bit of a conundrum isn’t it — I have to spend MORE money to get a better money mindset and therefore crack my finances? Yes, afraid sometimes you do, but the returns are more than worth it! If finances truly won’t allow that, look for some podcasts and get on Amazon to find a good book. I’d recommend The Millionaire Next door and Your Money Or Your Life as two great books to start with. My own, Money, Marriage & Motherhood is coming soon!
Did someone say Money Mindset coaching sessions?
A course to heal your money wounds?
I offer both! With some simple but highly effective practical and essential tactics to get clarity on your finances so you can begin a better relationship with money and set things up for a more positive outcome (I am NOT a financial advisor, just a very good coach)!
I’m running my favourite most illuminating Heal Your Money & Relationship Wounds workshop on Tuesday 31st January at 11am UK time, where we will explore the 5 different types of money, it’s interconnectivity with relationships, especially relationship breakdowns, magnified even more when money is or has been a toxic issue between people.
This is a MUST for ANYONE who wants to improve their relationship with money or even just shine a light on to it to identify and begin taking action on areas for improvement.
It’s also a must for anyone going through or recovering from a divorce or a relationship breakdown and extra support for this is available. I can guarantee that money will be involved somewhere along the way and you’ll be amazed how the emotions related to money are actually far BIGGER than just money. Come along and be fascinated and enlightened!
Sign up simply by emailing me direct, email@example.com or commenting wherever you see this blog. I haven’t yet got the sign up page completed but wanted to get this out there asap! I’ll add it in the comments when I have it! If the timezone (GMT) doesn’t suit let me know as I may be able to squeeze in a LIVE encore at a later time or I can send you the replay.
Shoot over any questions you have and of course I always love receiving your comments and aim to respond to them all.
Let’s not just make a change in 2023, let’s make a transformation that brings us empowerment and freedom. That’s what working on these issues does. It’s simple but not always easy.
Be kind to yourself and make it easy by getting the help you deserve!
Liz Hancock, The EFT Coach
Trauma, Money & Relationships