Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January, and is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. This year it falls on 20 January. We’ve got a few top tips that can help lift your mood and get you through the month.
Why do we get the Monday Blues?
Mondays are already difficult enough, but there are many factors why it has earned itself the title, Blue Monday. It’s the time of year when Christmas has been and gone, New Year resolutions have been broken, and the combination of winter darkness and bad weather can leave us feeling more gloomy than normal. We also have to stretch our finances longer than we normally would, so pay day feels more distant than in other months.
You can watch Shannon and Sarosh from our Talking Therapies team discuss why its common to feel low this time of year in our therapy video.
Our top five tips
Here are just a few things you can do. You can also watch our video on how to ease the January Blues
- Use the ‘worry time’ strategy. A lot of people have ‘what if’ worries, like paying off a bill or missing a train. Sometimes these situations won’t happen, but you can spend a lot of time being anxious about them. Shannon and Sarosh from Talking Therapies suggest you set aside time, even just 15 minutes in the evening, to use as your ‘worry time.’ Try to use that time to manage any worries that you have at a time that suits you.
- Make yourself a happy jar. Once a week, write something that made you happy, and by the end of the year, you’ll have a jar full of happy memories that you can look back on, lift your mood and give you an instant boost for next Blue Monday.
- Relax. Give yourself some ‘you time.’ There are many apps that can help you relax. Some people like to meditate. We also suggest trying to get outside, even when it’s cold. Wrap up warm and get some fresh air.
- Practice mindfulness or meditation. Being in the present, and taking the time to notice what’s happening around you, can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing. You can add this into your routine at the beginning or end of the day, with the help of free apps, like Smiling Mind and Headspace.
- Set yourself a SMART goal. Make your goals for the year clear and achievable by making them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART). Setting goals for the year can help you look forward to the year ahead.
How can you stay motivated?
Motivation can be difficult to find, especially with January’s grey skies and cold weather. Having a weekly diary and jotting down when you’re going to do activities is a great way to plan ahead and remind yourself to act on these plans. Watch our video on how to stay motivated.
Who can I talk to?
It's natural to feel a bit low sometimes, but if your feelings persist, our services can help. If you’re aged 17 or over and live in Berkshire, you can contact our Talking Therapies team, or you can refer yourself directly by completing an online form.
Connect with Talking Therapies on Twitter and Facebook to see more tips and advice about boosting your mood.