blue Monday feature photo

5 tools to build resilience and change your mindset

By David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans

Blue Monday happens the third Monday in January and is considered by some to be the most depressing day of the year because of a combination of factors – the dreariness of the winter weather, debt from the holidays, and the end of the festive season. It’s also the time when most people give up on their New Year’s resolutions because our motivation suffers from all these factors. While it’s not clear whether Blue Monday is based on science, it can be an important opportunity for reflection. Seasonal mood changes and anxiety are very real concerns.

Paying attention to our moods and mental health is always important, but right now it’s absolutely essential. In the latest Fitness Trends Report published by canfitpro, fitness professionals predict a rise in demand for mind-body fitness offerings in 2022. There will be more focus on meditation and mindfulness alongside fitness to help people feel healthier and more balanced.

Right now, it’s easy to focus on the negative, but the reality is that won’t improve anything in your life and has the potential to bring others down. It will take more energy, determination and passion to look on the bright side, but it’s worth it. On Blue Monday (or any day), when we could find reasons to feel sad, I encourage you to stand out and focus on the positive!

As human beings we want to evolve and grow. Our choices help us make these important changes. You have a choice. That is, you can choose to live in the status quo, or you can choose to keep growing and evolving yourself, your community and everything around you.

Life is only 10% what happens to you. The other 90% is about how you choose to react. Being present and cultivating resiliency are ways to transform how you perceive your reality and how you react and respond to any given situation. This will have dramatic results on your mental health and your personal trajectory.

Do you remember what you were worried about last year at this time? While our worries seem big and insurmountable, they become less significant over time. So don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on the moment and do what you can to be present.

We’re often faced by challenges that can be transformed into opportunities – it’s all about how you choose to perceive your circumstances. In the end, you control your path and where your life takes you. There is power in understanding that.

Maintaining your physical and mental health requires resilience. As humans, being resilient has supported us in our evolution and can support us as we face challenges and pursue opportunities for growth. Resilience, like any muscle in your body you train in the gym, requires continual care, attention, and training to stay strong and healthy.

Early in the pandemic, I wrote the 21-Day Leader’s Guide to Resilience for Leaders as a toolkit to help people cultivate resilience. Here are 5 tips from that guide to help you become more present, ramp up your resilience and redefine your expectations.

  1. Look for motivational quotes. I have a collection of motivational quotes in my office that remind me that the challenges I face are not new and that there is a way forward. They put things into perspective for me. Many times, when I am struggling with a challenging situation, I will reflect on the quotations I have on my wall to change my attitude and make a decision.
  • Stretch for 5 minutes Moving your body boosts your mood and is important to help you feel energetic and healthy. Choose 5 exercises and do each one for a minute if it is a dynamic stretch, or hold for 20-30 seconds if it’s a static stretch.
  • Practice gratitude. A gratitude practice will remind you of the good things in your life. This helps cultivate more positive emotions, improve your well-being. Think about what you appreciate and why.
  • Keep a journal. Journaling is a great way to enhance your mental state. Set a timer for 5 minutes, start writing and don’t stop. Let your thoughts flow out onto the page.
  • Celebrate small victories. Stopping to acknowledge small victories will remind you how capable, resilient, and strong you are. It will also give you a sense of achievement which can boost your mood.

I suggest starting these activities as soon as you can to redefine your perspective and reset your mood. If you want more, read the guide for more ideas, and commit yourself to taking the 21 Day Challenge. You’ll be amazed by the difference!

Remember this… your happiness and resiliency depend on just one variable – YOU. You have the tools to transform your life. On a day when many people are focused on negatives, be a change agent and a difference maker. Stand out by being positive.

If you’re interested in learning more about tools to build resilience and positive mindset, check out canfitpro’s Stress Resiliency Course.

Additionally, click here to download you free Strengthening Mental Health Though Fitness Workbook thanks to our collaboration with Advisory Panel Member Nathalie Lacombe and begin incorporating wellness into your repertoire to support and even-more rewarding and sustainable career!

Cliquez ici pour télécharger gratuitement le cahier d’exercice Renforcer la santé mentale par le conditionnement physique grâce à notre collaboration avec Nathalie Lacombe, membre du comité consultatif, et commencez à intégrer le bien-être dans votre répertoire pour soutenir une carrière encore plus gratifiante et durable !

Pretty soon, blue will be your favourite colour.


David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans is the founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness, Canada’s largest fitness club chain, fourth largest in the world and largest owned by a single owner. Patch has served both as president of canfitpro and as chair of the IHRSA Board of Directors. He is two-time best-selling author, award-winning entrepreneur, five-time Canadian rowing champion, and a notable philanthropist. Most recently Patch published the 21-Day Leaders Guide to Resilience, in response to the pandemic’s impact on the fitness industry and its leaders.