BLUE Monday is said to be the saddest day of the year when many of us feel a lull in our emotions.
In 2022, the day falls on January 17. Here we explain some ways to help beat the blues.
What are the best tips to combat Blue Monday and give my mood a boost?
Blue Monday is calculated using a series of factors in a (not particularly scientific) mathematical formula.
These are: the weather, debt level, the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of needing to take charge of the situation.
It was originally conceived by a PR company but has now become a widely recognised annual event.
The day has since been coined “the most depressing day of the year” – but thankfully there are several things you can do the combat feeling sluggish and blue.
1. Remember you are in control
First and foremost, it is important to remember that you are in control.
Blue Monday was determined by a PR firm and many companies play into the theme of January being a depressing month.
Keep reminding yourself that you have the power to change how you feel.
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2. Get some sun
Take advantage of the sunshine, if you can.
Go for a walk on your lunch break or try a new outdoor activity to boost your vitamin D levels.
Even just a short 15-minute burst could have a real impact.
Another way you can combat Blue Monday is to do some exercise.
Whether it is going for a run or taking a class at a gym, moving your body releases endorphins and can help boost your mood.
Personal trainer Andy Ward advises that exercise is a great tonic to feeling down, and it’s best to avoid binge-eating and shunning your mates.
He said: “Squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise. It could be a fast walk, a light jog, a relaxing swim, or an intense HIIT class – just move for thirty minutes to feel the benefits.
“There are dozens of different fitness classes available. January is a great time to take up new hobbies and meet new people.”
4. Watch a mood boosting film
While it is easy for people to recommend fitness for making yourself feel good, sometimes that’s the last thing you want to do.
Instead, why not try watching a feel-good film to make you smile.
Pick one of your favourites, or a classic you have never seen, and sit back and relax.
5. Talk it out
Finally, connect with people around you.
This could be giving to others in whatever way you feel – whether it’s a smile, a “thank you”, or a kind word.
However, if you are struggling with feelings of depression over a long period, you should speak to your doctor, or a trusted family member or friend.
Mental health charity Mind is derisive of the notion of Blue Monday, claiming the concept has no foundation in scientific research.
A statement on their websites says: “Here at Mind, we think it’s dangerously misleading.
“Those of us who live with depression know that those feelings aren’t dictated by the date.
“Implying that they are perpetuates the myth that depression is just ‘feeling a bit down’, something that doesn’t need to be taken seriously.”
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.