It’s the third Monday in January, what is commonly known now as Blue Monday or the most depressing day of the year! We are not contesting that January can be a genuinely tough time for some people, but it can also be a time of new beginnings and making decisions for the year ahead.
So to help you turn Blue Monday into a day you love instead of loathe, here are eight ways to beat it:
1. Don’t sit still
OK, so incorporating some exercise into your day may seem like a struggle at first, but we promise you’ll feel better for it afterwards. Thanks to, 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.
Extra points for activities scientifically proven to induce happiness, including skipping, and star jumps!!
2. Find the light
It’s January, and that can only mean one thing: you probably haven’t seen the sun in a while.
But a lack of natural sunlight not only affects your mood, but also limits 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 (in the form of eggs, fatty fish, milk) into your diet, soaking up the sunlight could do wonders for your wellbeing.
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.
Just make sure you choose the right genre; happy pop songs = good, overly aggressive heavy metal = maybe not.
If in doubt, always pick M People. Because its not possible to be sad after listening to ‘Proud’ on repeat.
4. Random acts of kindness
Sometimes, the best way to cheer yourself up is by cheering somebody else up.
Whether you give up your seat on the train, pay for someone’s coffee, or even just compliment a colleague, these little random acts of kindness won’t just brighten someone else’s day, they’ll also improve your own positivity.
And by practicing altruism, you’ll achieve a greater sense of wellbeing.
If you’re lucky, your good deed might even be reciprocated. Fingers crossed for office donuts.
5. Give yourself a boost
Whether it’s an indulgent dinner, a pampering movie night, or an impromptu shopping spree, 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.
6. Tomorrow is another day
OK, so you’re not feeling great today. But that doesn’t mean every day needs to be the same.
There’s always tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day…you get the picture).
Because one bad Monday doesn’t mean you can’t love the rest of them. And there’s no better way to beat blue Monday than to plan for the future.
Whether you organise a holiday, a weekend road trip, or even just arrange dinner with friends; having something to look forward to will definitely help to improve your mood.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
7. 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 oooh for at least ten months!
8. Start your job search
If it’s your job that’s getting you down – Blue Monday might be the day you finally turn it around.
By using it to refresh your CV and kick-start your job search, you could be able to turn Blue Monday into the day you applied for your dream job (instead of just another day you were miserable in your old one).
And whilst you’re unlikely to be able to hand in your resignation right away, putting the effort into submitting carefully tailored applications will definitely pay dividends in the long run.
It’s time to love Mondays even a blue one.