The third Monday of January has become notoriously known as ‘Blue Monday’, also known as the most depressing day of the year. After the thrill and excitement of Christmas, most of us are feeling the effects of dark, cold days, low bank balances and post-festive weight gain. Originally coined by Cardiff University professor Cliff Arnall, this year’s Blue Monday will fall on the 18th of January. Rather than let the day get you down, make a pledge to avoid ‘Blue Monday’ this year by following some great tips to help you avoid the January blues.
The reality of Blue Monday
Whilst many of us can laugh and joke about Blue Monday, the reality is that many people suffer higher levels of stress and low mood at this time of year, especially as the reality of overspending and overeating at Christmas sets in. The Counselling Directory reports a spike in visitors at this time of year, with many people seeking their services to help them get through this tough time. As we all know, prevention is certainly better than the cure and therefore it’s important to take steps to avoid falling into the Blue Monday trap.
Beat Blue Monday
There are plenty of things you can do to avoid the Blue Monday blues, including:
Don’t believe the hype
Just because statistically, this is the most depressing day of the year, remember it doesn’t have to be! Treat the 18th of January like it’s any other day and you may find that the feelings you’re being told to feel will pass you by completely.
Turn Blue Monday into a great day
Why not turn Blue Monday into something more memorable? Plan a get together or a day trip, or anything which gives you something to look forward to, rather than dwelling on the typical misery associated with this date.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise produces mood-boosting endorphins, so get outdoors and get active. Going for a walk and taking in some beautiful scenery or joining in a challenging class will help you to feel fresh and energised, and will be a big help in beating the January blues.
Do something for others
Rather than being caught up in your own woes, especially if they’re trivial in the grand scheme of things, why not do something good for those who are in need? Volunteering for a charity, helping a relative or neighbour with some household chores or other good deed will not only help you to feel good, but will be of real use to those you’ve helped.
Eat your way to a better mood
There are some foods out there which have been scientifically proven to boost your mood, including chocolate, bananas and even carb-filled foods like pasta. Plan a delicious three course meal with all of your favourites as a way to lift your mood and that of those around you.
These helpful suggestions should hopefully provide you with some inspiration from taking your mind off Blue Monday, but if the feelings of unhappiness and or depression are failing to go away, then you may wish to consult your doctor. The NHS website has plenty of information about depression, its symptoms and how to get help if you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one. Turn Blue Monday into a good Monday and avoid the January blues this year.