8 Tips to Beat the Blues this blue Monday
Blue Monday, a term initially coined by Sky Travel, is supposed to be the ‘most depressing day’ of the year, and falls on the third Monday of January every year. This is due to recovering financially (and perhaps health-wise) from Christmas, combined with the weather and the festive season being over, amongst other factors.
Many refer to the term as a marketing ploy to help promote sales, which can give a small dopamine boost, but the financial stress, in particular, can come to a head with around two weeks to go until the next payday. If it’s not financial stress, the shorter, colder days can also contribute to the ‘January blues’.
If you are one to feel the blues, we’ve outlined 8 tips below that may be helpful.
- Get some fresh air. A simple way to lift your mood. Being outside has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate while encouraging physical activity and boosting mood and mental health. Even if it’s just a quick walk around the block, it will still help.
- Reduce your screen time. Try swapping the nightly doom-scrolling or Netflix binge for that book you keep saying you want to read but never get around to – it’ll help you unwind, clear your mind, and sets you up nicely for our next point…
- Sleep. Hardly a novel concept, but prioritising your sleep is imperative for rest and recovery. Try to establish a sleep routine if you don’t already have one – aim to be in bed by the same time each night and awake at the same time each morning.
- Check-in with a friend. January is a glum time for most, but catching up and connecting with people can be a good way of combating the January blues. And if you’re looking to save money, a home-cooked dinner or a glass of wine on the sofa is a lovely way of catching up. Better yet, combine this with points 1 and 2, and go for a walk with a friend!
- Move your body. Whether you want a more gentle movement like yoga or are striving for a PB in the gym or with your running shoes, exercise is a fantastic way of clearing your mind, looking after your body, and giving you that endorphin boost.
- Fuel your body. Aim for eating 30 different plants per week to make sure you’re getting your micros and one source of protein, carbs and unsaturated fats with every meal or snack, or eat one of your FFF meals!
- Invest in a SAD lamp. They’re great for a more gentle wake up in the mornings, mimicking a sunrise and regulating your circadian rhythm more when the days are shorter, helping you feel more awake first thing!
- Try gratitude journaling. Although mocked by some, gratitude journaling gets you to think in a more positive way – start by noting three things (or beings!) that you feel thankful for and why, your highlight of the day, and something you’re looking forward to. If done with consistency, you’ll notice your mindset starting to shift – looking for the positives and silver linings rather than dwelling on the ‘average’ or negatives.
If the tips above aren’t enough, here are some positive spins on this blue Monday:
- Yesterday (15th January) was the first pre-8 am sunrise of the year – the days are getting longer from here!
- This Monday is just another Monday.
- You’re one day closer to payday…
- …and one day closer to the clocks going forward!
The start of the year can be tough, but the options to make it more enjoyable are there if you’re willing to give them a try – even if you start with just one or two points, something is better than nothing, and you’ll thank yourself for making the effort!