How to avoid the blues on Blue Monday

“What is Blue Monday?”

Blue Monday is the name of a day in January said to be the most depressing day of the year. The term was coined in 2005 when Cardiff University used the term for the first time and refers to the third Monday of the month when traditionally people have eaten too much food, spent too much money, and generally overdone it. Its later in January that things catch up and people can easily feel overwhelmed and down about what’s ahead. We have got the added fun-and-games of a pandemic to contend with which has its own kick-in-the-pants for many who are facing restrictions and not able to travel or see loved ones at home or in hospital.

Tips to beat feeling blue

1/ Make plans for 22

Many of us will dive heard first into Christmas and then after Christmas the reality of a cold new year hits. What can we do to alleviate the dip of Blue Monday in January?

The best plan for staying buoyant in January is to make some solid plans in good time:

– Keep spending in check and don’t go crazy with lots of purchases you don’t need.

– Plan to see loved ones through January so that you have some social connection after all the celebrations have finished.

– Don’t overdo it during the holiday season. Train yourself into moderation. You will thank yourself when the end of the month January comes around.

2/ Plan for a good 22

Feel good about the year coming up by making some plans. Plan to have a great year and think about what lovely things you would love to create for the year ahead. Jot down your thoughts in a journal and then make 3 – 5 steps you can take to start that plan in motion. Having a plan will make you feel motivated, excited and looking forward to the weeks and months ahead instead of dreading them.

3/ Feel better by giving out some love and kindness to others

Research shows that we get a boost of happiness when we help others or give to others. See how you can help people in your local community, give some things away to charity or give your time to support a local group needing help or food at this time of year.

4/ Make a commitment to see friends (safely)

Plan some low-key social meet ups with a small number of people to elevate your mood, change the backdrop and share some stories. That’s always a good uplifter. If rules allow.

5/Have a viewing party of a feel-good film

Keep up those happy times of watching happy funny movies together with family or friends through January.

6/Go outside and have a walk

Breathe some air and get some gentle exercise. This is one of the best ways to get out of a slump and feel better. Breathing fresh air helps your mood, your health and your creativity.

7/ Pamper yourself

Swap massages with a friend and be kind to your body.

8/ Learn how to meditate

This will help you feel better and give your more energy and slow down those busy thoughts. Meditation is a great go-to tool if you feel stressed. There are many great apps around that will guide you if you are not sure how to do it yourself. Headspace, Insight Timer and Calm are great meditation apps and there are many others.

9/ Dance

Dance around your living room to some good dance music. We always feel better when we get to move the body and have a dance. Dancing gets the blood moving, the oxygen pumping and you get to listen to some great tunes at the same time. Winner!

10/ Create a Vision board

These really work and power up ideas for what you want to bring into your life in 22. The idea is you get a large blank piece of card or paper and put yourself in the centre of the board. Then get creative. Add words, ideas, photos, pictures, colours, writing thoughts and your wish list down on the paper including any other visual prompts that will help you think about your dreams. Make your dreams clear to yourself by putting them down on a vision board and looking at them regularly and adding to them as the weeks go by. Keep it private, if you like, so that its personal and deep for you. Amazing things happen when you create a vision board.

11/ Make time for yourself

Make time to give yourself some attention and self-care to look after yourself and make you feel special and pampered. Declutter your space, have a throw out and create some space to let new things into your life. You deserve it!

Why not decide you are going to do your best to enjoy this new year ahead, whatever is going on ´out there´. We may as well do our thing and try to enjoy life day by day the very best way we can.

I wish you a calm positive year ahead, wherever you find yourself now.

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