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5 Ways To Improve The Most Depressing Day Of The Year

The top tips to banish 'Blue Monday'.

Monday 21st January, ‘Blue Monday’. The 3rd Monday of January is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. With festivities of Christmas a distant memory, it’s now just the middle of winter. Payday has still not arrived after the most expensive time of year on our poor wallet. We’re in the midst of a gruelling fitness regime, diet plan or the popular ‘Dry January’ commitment of abstaining from alcohol.

Another common theme in January is that it’s one of the most likely months we file for divorce or break up, perhaps down to the stresses of Christmas and forced ‘family time’ together.

From the lack of money, the guilt of overindulging during the holidays, the restrictive eating, avoiding alcohol, unachievable resolutions and the SAS style workouts, it is understandable why towards the end of January we may be feeling a little weary, to say the least. Here’s how you can combat the ‘Blue Monday’ feeling...

1. Know That You’re Not Alone

Labelling this difficult time flags up the glaringly obvious point that this is common for many of us. Low mood is commonly associated with feeling alone with our problems, but often a simple search online about other people’s experiences and by talking to friends, you'll find that the reality is you’re not alone in this at all.

2. Be Gentle With Yourself

Another benefit to acknowledging it in this way is that it hopefully encourages you to go easy on yourself and find a way to give yourself some extra comfort or motivation.

3. Have something to look forward to

Just because now feels hard doesn’t mean it will be like this all year, just as the seasons pass so do our moods and situations. Make a plan with friends after payday, research holidays for the summer, find something to get excited about.

4. Socialise

Amazingly you can still be social when you’re abstaining from alcohol, broke and trying to watch what you eat! (I know! Who knew!?) Going for walks, doing a local exercise class with a friend, a park run, cooking new things at home, starting a new series with your partner or a friend, are all still options. Connection and spending time with others are vital for our mental health.

5. Get Off Your Phone

The blue light that is emitted from your phone, especially at night, has been found to negatively affect mood. Make an effort to minimise your screentime before bed, especially on a day when statistically, you're likely to be feeling a little low! Getting enough sleep will ensure you feel well rested and genuinely in a better mood.

Chanelle Sowden is a trained Psychotherapeutic Counsellor with over 10 years of experience in supporting adults and children overcome fears, break patterns and transform relational difficulties.

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