Blue Monday, often dubbed as “the most depressing day of the year” due to the bleak weather and impending realisation that the post-Christmas payday is still out of reach, doesn’t have to cast a shadow over our wellbeing. Whilst the concept originated as a marketing ploy to help a travel company sell more holidays, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a step back and consider plans that can be put in place for the upcoming year, to help you challenge negative thinking and prioritise your mental health.
Spend more time outside
Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to underestimate the power and healing nature of simply spending time outdoors. Nature has a serious impact on our mood, and whilst it might not seem it, January can be one of the best months of the year to spend some time outside and take in the beauty of the season
s. Granted, you might need to wear a few layers, but once you’ve braved the cold, clear blue skies and crisp air will make it all worthwhile.
Whether or not your new year’s resolution has a focus on being more active in 2024, getting your body moving is the ultimate mood booster. It’s not just about hitting your next fitness goal or pushing yourself to the limit: it can be as simple as a stroll around your local park or town centre. Getting your endorphins flowing is key to giving your body that mood-boosting kick that is so desperately needed in January.
Invest in a SAD lamp
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects many people during the winter months when daylight hours are few and far between. This results in your body’s internal clock being disrupted, affecting the levels of serotonin and melatonin that you produce, and can result in symptoms such as low energy, difficulty concentrating, and a general feeling of sadness.
When the winter weather dims your mood, a SAD lamp can become your sunshine in a box, emitting light that replicates the sun’s rays, and giving your mood and energy levels a much-needed boost. So, when the gloom of Blue Monday hits, switch on your SAD lamp, soak in the light, and let it work its magic.
Surround yourself with loved ones
With the challenges of Blue Monday, or any other day that feels like it’s getting on top of you, the support and company of your loved ones can feel like a welcoming hug to the soul. These moments of connection not only provide emotional support, but also serve as a reminder that, even in the face of life’s ups and downs, the bonds you share with family and friends will always offer a sense of comfort and resilience.
Practising meditation is a gentle escape from the chaos of everyday life and is key to managing your state of tranquillity. Imagine a massage for your mental health, that’s what you’re trying to achieve here – it’s not about emptying your mind, but embracing the present moment with open arms, and finding your passport to inner peace. There are plenty of options when it comes to meditation, such as guided sessions, using mindfulness techniques, or even just simple breathing exercises, but the important thing is that you find a way that works for you.
Be kind to yourself
Positive affirmations are like a daily motivational talk for your mind, helping to give you a positive mindset and a boost of self-empowerment. By repeating positive statements about yourself and the world, these affirmations act as a gentle reminder of your worth and potential.
The information in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalised guidance. The author(s) and publisher(s) are not liable for errors or omissions, and reliance on the content is at your own risk.
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