With Blue Monday fast approaching its wise to brace ourselves for what’s in store on statistically the most depressing day on the calendar year, January 17th.
Initially the term referred to that feeling we can have after the weekend has ended, signifying the first day back to our routine and responsibilities leaving us feeling a little deflated.
Since then, analysts have calculated several factors such as winter weather, debt levels and motivation, amongst other relevant influences to formulate (in theory) what is the most depressing day.
Firstly, I’d like to highlight that key point, theory. Perspective is everything and just because we are told how we could feel on this day doesn’t make it so.
Have you ever been in a really positive space, and you ask a colleague, friend or family member how they are feeling … then you are faced with anger, problems and negative vibes? Suddenly your mood can start to dip, laughter is contagious but so are other energies such as low mood, anxiety, frustration, tension etc.
So, lets explore some of the factors we could possibly influence to help your Blue Monday become Blue Funday.
We all have our own window on the world and with the right tools can put things into perspective. If your absorbing negativity online by endless scrolling on social and listening to the news change or choose what to listen to or watch.
A podcast, a comedy, music, reading a book rather than devices are all proven to give those happy thoughts and feelings a helping hand.
Making a gratitude list of the things to be thankful for has been proven to have a positive effect on neurotransmitters and brain chemicals lifting our mood. Write down 10 things your grateful for, for a 21-day period to get the Serotonin flowing.
Yes, the weather can be pretty horrible this time of year, but we are not made of sugar! Wrap up, embrace the cold, walk and let what little sun light there is into your life. Add to this spending time with nature and you’re onto a winner.
Plan. What are your goals and what can you look forward to? Is it a holiday (sore subject with Covid!) a new hobby or class, maybe simply organising your living environment?
Whatever it is getting our thoughts on paper and having something to work towards can unravel the tangled web of thoughts to get some clarity and direction.
William H McRaven wrote a best seller called Make Your Bed which focus on the small things that can change your life. Our habits and behaviours can add up to result in a happier state of being. It takes a bit of discipline but setting the schedule and sticking to it can regain some control.
Let’s own January 17th, push back and reclaim whatever Monday it is as ours, not something to dread.
Here’s to a happy, healthy Monday 17th whatever the stats suggest.
Mental Health Trainer