How can we beat the mythical Blue Monday?

‘Blue Monday’… the third Monday of January, and apparently the bluest day of them all. With the fun of Christmas and New Year over, January is a sadder, quieter month for most, full of cold, dark days.

Whilst most will agree that January isn’t the greatest of months, ‘Blue Monday’ is shrouded with controversy. The original concept came from a press release by Sky Travel, promoting the idea of the depressing day in the hopes of selling more holidays. The release claimed that the day had been calculated by “taking into account various factors” such as the weather, debt, the days until payday, and more.

Man stood at the shore
Stirring a cup of tea

The ‘logic’ behind ‘Blue Monday’ has long been debunked, with many professionals claiming it to be nonsense. It’s also important not to trivialise what can be a serious condition, with depression affecting 1 in 6 adults in the UK (championhealth).

Samaritans tell us there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’, and rightly so, we all have our good days, and our bad days, and the calendar doesn’t get to decide when they are! With this in mind, the charity has re-branded the day as ‘Brew Monday’, a day to check in with people over a cup of tea, coffee, orange juice or whatever you’re drinking! Take some time out today to check on your friends and colleagues and see how they’re doing. As Samaritans say, there’s always time for a cuppa and a catch up.

So, although the science behind this specific day being the worst isn’t exactly credible, it can’t be denied that many people do feel the blues in January. So, how can we get through the day, and through the January blues in general? Here are some tips to help:

See the light.
January is dark and dull, you may be travelling both to and from work I the dark at this time of year, so it’s important to see some daylight! Try to carve time into your day to take a break and go for a short walk for a dose of light.

Be active.
It’s no secret that physical activity can boost your mood and increase your energy levels. So whilst you might not feel like it, getting up and moving has many proven benefits by releasing endorphins!

Woman and dog walking in nature
Woman writing with a cup of tea

Eat well.
It’s normal to want to reach for comfort foods during the colder months, however sugar crashes cause tiredness! A healthy balanced diet will boost your mood, and give you more energy.

Get enough rest.
It’s well known that the recommended amount of sleep for an adult is between seven and nine hours per night. Not getting enough sleep, or quality sleep, can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing, and leave you feeling irritable.

Try something creative.
It’s known that taking time to be creative can improve brain function, mental health, and physical health. Creative activity can be a great way to relax and switch off from day-to-day stresses, and has been compared to meditation for its relaxing and calming effects on the body and brain.

Spend time with others.
Spending time with your loved ones is strongly linked to positive metal health. It can improve your sense of belonging, help to boost self-esteem, and offset stressors in your life. Make time to see your friends and family, to help not only yourself, but them too!