It’s officially the most depressing day of the year. So how do you keep the glums at bay on Blue Monday and beyond?
By Lizzie Fletcher
The third Monday of January is officially the most depressing day of the year. It is gloomily referred to as Blue Monday and its sombre mood has been calculated using an equation.
|Since January is a long, hard month, it’s fair to assume we’ll all be feeling a bit blue on the 20th.|
This year, Blue Monday falls on 20 January. And although the Blue Monday calculus has now been debunked (the whole thing turned out to be a PR stunt cooked up by Sky Travel), Monday is universally acknowledged as the week’s most tiresome day.
Since January is a long, hard month, it’s fair to assume we’ll all be feeling a bit blue on the 20th. At this particular point in the month, many feel a little defeated. Perhaps we’re struggling to maintain a positive mental attitude.
But never fear, because help is at hand. To help you beat the Blue Monday blues, here are five mood-lifting tips, helping you on your way to a happier and healthier spring.
1. Keep Active
While it is tempting to stay curled up on the sofa throughout January, exercise plays an important role in boosting our mood. When we exercise, our brain releases chemicals that make us feel good and reduce stress.
You don’t need to run a marathon or spend hours in the gym. Research suggests that low to moderate intensity exercise is best for managing stress, with walking and yoga being especially popular options.
2. Eat Healthily
When you aren’t feeling great, it’s easy to turn to comforting food to lift your spirits.
But while there is nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while, a diet made up of junk and convenience food is likely to do you more harm than good.
Studies suggest that eating more fruit and vegetables makes you feel better. Stay conscious of what you are eating, and make an effort to incorporate healthier foods into your everyday diet.
|Mental health issues, including depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.|
3. Catch some zeds
A good night’s sleep is vital to remaining healthy. According to experts, it is just as important as exercising and eating well.
Mental health issues, including depression, are strongly linked to poor sleep quality and sleeping disorders.
It is easy to fall into a poor sleeping pattern, so try to regulate it as much as possible. Give yourself a set bedtime, and try to minimise screen time (phone and TV) in the hour before you fall asleep.
Set an alarm at a reasonable time in the morning, and try to ensure you are getting around eight hours of sleep per night. If you find that you struggle to nod off, try reading or meditation before turning in for the night.
4. Limit Alcohol
A stressful day at work can have you reaching for the bottle. But if you are already feeling down, alcohol is likely to make you feel a whole lot worse.
Drinking too much interferes with the neurotransmitters in your brain, so can have a real impact on your mental health. Cutting back on the booze (or even quitting completely) has a positive impact on how you think and feel.
If you’re worried that you or someone you know may be drinking too much, or using alcohol as a coping mechanism, you can find plenty of information and advice at Drinkaware.
5. Talk Things Through
We all know that social interaction is important to human happiness. So make time to speak to those around you.
When we feel down, it can often seem as if no one understands or recognises what we are going through. Communication is really important, and opening up to someone – a colleague, friend or even a counsellor – can really help to make sense of our feelings and thoughts.
Sharing how you feel is hugely helpful. You may discover that other people feel a similar way. This can play a crucial role in alleviating feelings of isolation and loneliness.
To find more advice on mental health and wellbeing, visit Mind: a leading source of insight, help and information.
© Just Recruitment Group Ltd
Published: 20 January 2020
If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Six ways to keep your New Year’s resolutions alive
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