Keep your Spirits High this Blue Monday
As people come down from Christmas highs and settle back into their routine, the third Monday in January is allegedly the most depressing day of the year. However, there is no reason why it should be all doom and gloom.
Everyone has heard that Blue Monday is a day when we may, and occasionally even should, all feel a small bit down. It makes sense to feel a little down if you’ve been told you should.
As everyone knows, January can be a challenging month. With the holiday cheer well and truly gone, tight financing situations and new year’s resolutions slowly beginning to slack. Situations such as these and other factors individuals may experience can all raise the likelihood of relapse. However, in this blog, we’ll focus on what you can do to help avoid the January Blues and what you can do to ensure that Blue Monday has no effect on your recovery.
‘Blue Monday’ What is it?
The idea was initially made public in a news press released in 2005 by a holiday company that claimed to have determined the date using an equation. However, the theory is regarded as nonsense, and scientists criticize its formula to this day for being irrational. In the 2005 press release, Dr Cliff Arnal, a British psychologist, was heavily cited. Using a formula, he found that most individuals find it difficult to get through the final Monday in January, feeling down, dreary, and gloomy. However, despite ongoing criticism from the scientific community, Blue Monday continues to gain media attention every year.
Tips to Stay in a Positive Mindset this Blue Monday
- Get plenty of sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is an important aspect to a healthy lifestyle. Without the right amount of sleep, days become tougher to get through as you might constantly find yourself struggling to stay awake throughout the busy day and a lack of sleep effects the ability to think clearly. Therefore, going to bed at a respectable hour and giving yourself enough downtime to rest and relax without using screens is advised. Doing so will likely make you feel better.
- Exercise: It has been scientifically proven that exercise improves our mood. Whether it’s hitting the gym, plunging into the pool for a swim or even just a short walk in the fresh air. All types of exercise cause the release of endorphins, which have been proven in scientific studies to release positive emotions in the body.
- Healthy Eating: Much like a car, our bodies need fuel to function efficiently. Without the right foods our mood and energy levels plummet. However, nutritious meals can give us the energy we need and hence, boosts both your mood and self-esteem. A healthy body makes you happier both inside and out.
- Connect with loved ones: Communication is key and without it we leave ourselves feeling isolated. By reaching out and connecting with friends and family it can help keep both you and your loved ones feel better. Whether it’s a simple phone call or meeting someone for a coffee, it is always nice to have a conversation with the people you are close with to keep spirits high.
- Deep Breaths: Similar to exercise, our body’s fundamental functions are tied to breathing, which also has an impact on the chemistry of our brain. Taking control of your breathing can have a positive effect on your emotions and your overall mood. Hence, this is why taking a moment to yourself throughout the day and making sure to take deep breaths is essential to one’s mental health, particularly when in recovery. It has been shown in studies that deep breaths release a ‘feel good’ chemical in your brain, resulting in a happy feeling.
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