It’s supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The festive season is well and truly over, those ambitious New Year’s Resolutions aren’t panning out (set goals guys, seriously), we’re all basically impoverished and the weather is just downright miserable. It’s little wonder that the third Monday of January has earned its reputation as ‘Blue Monday’. So, how do you beat it? Well, first things first, remember that really, Blue Monday is just a bit of a PR stunt. I mean, if everyone is telling you its the saddest day of the year then you’re probably going to feel a little pessimistic from the get-go. But, I totally get that January/February can be a little bleak, so here are some top tips to beat not only Blue Monday, but the winter blues too…
Run a bubble bath, binge-watch FRIENDS on Netflix, or book yourself a massage; whatever it might be, do something that makes you feel serene and content. There’s been a weird movement recently about self-care being selfish, and I think its nonsense. Taking time to look after yourself is important. You enjoy that me-time.
Practice Positive Thinking
Ok, stay with me here: best way to turn that frown upside down? Think positively. It’s not easy I know, so here’s one of my favourite techniques I learned in therapy. Put together a list of all your favourite, happy memories. Then, when you’re having a low moment, grab the list and re-play those memories in your head. For example, my list is full of walks with Percy, travelling with Eddie, and time with family. It’s amazingly uplifting, basically acting as a personal movie library of happiness in your head.
Another mindfulness activity that can really make a difference to your outlook on life in the winter months. Every night write down three things from the day that you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as having central heating for a warm and cosy house when it’s cold outside, or something bigger and more profound. It’s completely up to you. No matter how bad my day has been though, if I look for three positive things before bed then it becomes a good day.
Eat Healthy Food
The temptation for comfort food is strong this time of year, but often over-indulging in those foods ends up making us feel worse than we did in the first place. Don’t completely overhaul your diet, of course, but do try and get in your greens, eat healthy fats and get enough protein. Check here if you want more healthy eating ideas.
I know, it’s the last thing you want to do when it’s cold outside, but don’t allow yourself to get into a winter slump with your exercise. Exercising has amazing mood-boosting properties – hello endorphins – plus, it makes you feel good about yourself. If a cold morning run isn’t your thing then why not find a new class or hit up the weights section of your gym? I promise you won’t regret it!
Give yourself things to look forward to. Plan a holiday, make dinner dates with your partner, get your girlfriends together…just get things in the diary. Knowing that you have fun things planned for the not-so-distant future is an immediate mood-booster.
Let me know if you try out any of these ideas, and if you have anything to add to the list. Take care of yourself, and ultimately remember, Blue Monday is so not a thing.