Blue Monday: Beat the blues
What is Blue Monday?
A term coined by UK travel company Sky Travel, Blue Monday is named so for apparently being the day of the year we feel at our lowest. According to psychologist Cliff Arnall, who came up with a formula to calculate the most depressing day of the year, that day falls on the third Monday of January. Since 2005, Blue Monday has stuck, and while many call it pseudoscience and claim it was simply a PR stunt, there is no doubt that around this time of year it is common to feel lower than usual.
The shorter days and bad weather, going back to work after the festive period, feeling the financial strain of Christmas and for many, the guilt of already breaking new years’ resolutions, all factor in to make January a tough period.
Combatting the blues
If you do find yourself feeling down, here are some tips that may help make your Blue Monday a little less blue…
- Treat yourself to something nice. Take advantage of the January sales that are on and maybe go shopping for some new clothes or something for your house. Whether it’s a bunch of flowers, a meal out or something you’ve had your eye on for a while, buying yourself a little something can help boost your mood.
- Spend some time with friends. Whether you have a chat over the phone, have a chilled evening in or go out somewhere, quality time with others is always beneficial to your mood and wellbeing.
- If you prefer to spend time alone then try doing some form of self-care, whatever that is for you. Ordering some food, watching your favourite film or tv show or getting lost in a good book are some go-to ideas.
- Focus on the good things. Write a list of things you are grateful for and have a think about the little or big things that make you thankful. Channelling your energy towards more positive things will help lift your overall mood.
- If the weather is good enough, take a walk or spend some time outside. Find a nice spot to enjoy a sunset or sunrise, or if you live near a lake or the coast then make the most of being near a body of water as many people often find it calming and relaxing.
- Try to do some physical exercise. Go to the gym or for a run, or you can do a workout in the comfort of your own home, and if none of those appeal to you then just dancing around to your favourite songs also counts! Any movement is better than none at all and the endorphins released as a result can help boost your mood.
- Declutter and tidy up. Have a tidy of your workspace and try organising your wardrobe and throwing out any old clothes you don’t wear anymore, these can be given to a charity! If the thought of tidying your room or house is a bit overwhelming then start small, you don’t have to do it all in one go but making a start is a step in the right direction.
- Try and get a good night’s sleep. This can make all the difference in the world to your attitude and mood the next day. Look at healthy sleep tips or invest in an electric or weighted blanket if you struggle with getting your 8 hours a night.
These tips may help boost your mood however if you’re struggling and feel like you need more help then speak to someone you trust, a professional or a charity or helpline. You can also look at the NHS website for further information.