Today, Monday 15th Jan, is Blue Monday – aka ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Are you asking yourself why your day feels like it will never end you just want to eat chocolate and book your next holiday?? Well, it looks like what you’re feeling is pretty normal for today.
The third Monday in January has been calculated as the unhappiest day of the year because the excitement for the start of the new year has diminished, the weather is well… utterly appalling, and the summer is still a distant dream. There may not be anything scientific behind Blue Monday, but we’ve all experienced the misery of mid-January.
Having said that, is it possible to actually enjoy Blue Monday – in different ways perhaps, but just as much as you would enjoy a warm summer day? I believe so. Firstly, remember – you are in control. You can choose either to believe that today will be grim and depressing – and if that is what you’ll look out for, most probably that is what you’ll find – or you can choose to believe it will be a great day, in which case you’ll more likely to notice the positives that today will throw your way.
No matter which way you decide to approach your day, here are some tips to keep the gloominess at bay.
1. Do some damn good Yoga
Hahahaha… You saw this coming, right?!!
Research shows that yoga helps counteract anxiety-driven depression because it reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, inducing what’s known as the relaxation response. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly. So, if you feel ready to throw up your hands in defeat – take a warm shower, unroll your mat, yoga slow or until you sweat and start see the world as the amazing, beautiful place it truly is.
2. Pamper yourself
If you’ve had a long day and nothing seems to go in the right direction, run yourself a bath, put on some good music, light a few candles and relax. Taking some time out for yourself will allow you to de-stress and reboot your energy to take on the next day. If this is not enough, go to bed that little bit earlier. The NHS says that most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep each night and getting the recommended amount will help you feel refreshed and able to function properly the next day. I personally only ‘get by’ on six hours sleep per night, which is the bare minimum, I’ll heed my own advice as of now!
3. Start a detox
Doing a detox is like hitting a reset button for your body. It will help to increase your energy levels, balance your hormones, improve digestion, give your adrenals a much-needed break, help break cravings and make you feel joyous all over, not to mention beautiful glowing skin, nice. The action of cleansing and purifying the body helps to release stagnation, making room for revitalised easily flowing energy. Doing gentle detox yoga, deep breathing, walking in nature and practicing meditation all contribute to helping the body release toxic energy, creating space to connect with your higher self.
4. Try something new
January is a low-key month but also a welcome relief to the hectic nature of December. It’s a great time to evaluate where you’re going and what you want to change. Make a little plan and be ambitious with the things that you want to achieve this year. Thinking of a career change? Revamping your living room? Taking capoeira or samba lessons? No matter what, focusing your attention on a new project and making plans for the future will help you gather some good vibes and sail through the gloomy grey winter.
5. Count your blessings
When we are feeling unhappy and down on the world, being able to focus on what we are grateful for can be a difficult. Instead, being grateful and appreciating the things that we have in our lives is of paramount importance for feeling happy and fulfilled. A really simple way to do this is to write down three things that you are grateful for or have appreciated each day (or do a voice note into your mobile phone ☺ ). The things that you are grateful for can be as simple as a smile on family or friends’ faces, noticing the beauty of nature or being thankful for all that you DO HAVE rather than the things that you don’t have.
Not all of the suggestions above will resonate with you, but there’s a good chance that you can at least try one or some of them. They may work or not in the long term, but for sure they will help you increase your positivity and wellbeing so that one day you will wake, the birds will be singing, a warm sun will peek through the curtains or blinds and voila’… it will be spring again! Yeah!