The festive season is a distant memory, you’ve completely run out of Christmas chocolate, and you’re beginning to wonder whether winter will ever end; it must be mid-January. And with it comes what some experts claim to be the most depressing day of the year: the fittingly-titled Blue Monday.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To help you turn Blue Monday into a day you love instead of loathe, here are 7 ways to beat it
1. Get Up & Get Moving!!
You quite rightly indulged over the holidays, so the gym is looking like the last place you’d want to find yourself right now? Incorporating some exercise into your day may seem like a struggle at first, but we promise you’ll feel better for it afterwards. Thanks, endorphins. And it doesn’t have to be a hard-core workout either. Something as simple as walking to work, taking the stairs, or going for a quick jog is often enough to snap out of a slump.
2. Find The Light
It’s mid-January, and that can only mean one thing: you probably haven’t seen the sun in a while.
But a lack of natural sunlight can not only affect your mood, but also limit the amount of vitamin D your body produces. This means getting outside as much as possible is vital to boost your endorphin levels and increase alertness.
So whether you make it your goal to get outside as much as possible, or just incorporate some much-needed vitamin D (e.g. eggs, fatty fish, milk) into your diet, soaking up the sunlight could do wonders for your wellbeing.
If all else fails, there’s always the window seat…
3. Put Your Headphones In
New Year, new uplifting Spotify playlist.
Not only does your brain release dopamine (a neurotransmitter linked to motivation and reward) when you listen to music, it also helps to improve your mood. And if you listen to a certain early 2000s boy band, your ‘Blue’ Monday could have a whole new meaning (#AllRise).
Just make sure you choose the right genre; happy pop songs = good, overly aggressive Bavarian-based death metal = maybe not.
If in doubt, always pick The Lighthouse Family. Because is it even possible to be sad after listening to ‘Lifted’ on repeat? No. The answer is no.
4. Perform a Random Act of Kindness
No such thing as a good deed? Research shows that doing something small for someone else can have positive impact on your mood. Why not make a cup of tea for a colleague? Or depending on your workplace, could you offer your team the opportunity to work remotely one day this week, ensuring they’re home to see their little ones before bed? Do a good deed and everybody wins.
5. Give Yourself A Boost
Whether it’s an indulgent dinner, a pampering movie night, or an impromptu shopping spree (see also: January sales), today’s the perfect day to do whatever makes you happy.
But if certain New Year’s resolutions mean chocolate is off the table, don’t panic. There are a number of diet-friendly foods that can help improve your mood – from bananas, nuts, and pasta, to blueberries, cherries, and pomegranate.
Eat all of these, and you’re essentially eating a cocktail of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins – all of which are proven to alleviate stress, boost your mood, and increase energy levels.
What’s not to like?
6. Look on the bright side
Sure, it might be mid-January, it’s definitely cold outside, and your bank account has probably been in minus figures since December – but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to be happy about.
By switching to a positive mindset, practicing mindfulness, and listing of all the things you’re grateful for (instead of what’s making you sad) – you might find that your mood greatly improves.
And if you’re struggling to be optimistic? Think about the fact that you won’t have to buy any more Christmas presents for at least eleven months. You’re welcome.
7. Start something new (other than a diet)
The logic of starting a diet on a Monday has always been slightly warped.
Why make a universally-hated day of the week even more tedious by not letting yourself eat?
That’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, use your Monday as an opportunity to start something that you might actually enjoy, like a new sport or fitness class, a television show or book.
You could even start learning a new language. What’s stopping you?
Where can you get help?
If you are in distress or need some support, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day on 116 123 or through their website.
Source courtesy of Reed