Whether you’re familiar with the term Blue Monday or not, you’ve undoubtedly felt the gloomy mood of January so far. Although many of us dislike Mondays as it is, the third Monday in January – aka, Blue Monday – is said to be the most depressing day of the year.
While many debate how the term came about, plenty of people put it down to a UK psychologist’s specific equation in 2005. Yep, that’s right – math! The equation itself takes into account seven different variables: the weather, debt, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since (your tried and possibly failed) New Year’s resolution, low motivation levels, and the need to take action.
After a quick bit of math, the result is: Blue Monday. The third Monday in January, right at a point where we’re feeling at our lowest.
But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, as we’ve got some psychologist recommended tips to help you kick those Monday blues to the curb.
Be a little kinder to yourself.
By the time Blue Monday comes around, many of us have long forgotten about our apparent New Year’s resolutions. With popular challenges such as Dry January and Veganuary circling, keeping to strict rules can be difficult after the Christmas holidays.
Instead of beating yourself up, or allowing yourself to think you can’t keep to just a month of changes, be a little kinder to yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for your achievements in the past few months, and use this as an opportunity to learn where you got caught up.
Don’t be so tough on yourself if you do slip up, just accept the day for what it is and move on. And if you find a new routine or lifestyle too hard, take some time to focus on the aims you can achieve. Every achievement, however small, is still an achievement! Celebrate them and give yourself a pat on the back.
Get yourself outside.
Getting outside and exploring nature can do wonders for your mind and body. Green surroundings can have a massive impact on temporary low mood, helping to refresh your mind and rid your thoughts of negativity.
Studies have shown that a walk in nature can help to reduce stress levels, and if you pair some time outside with exercise – even better.
Green spaces have shown to boost your mood, reducing symptoms of depression, and ridding you of that Blue Monday feel.
Allow yourself to do nothing.
Did you know that according to the World Happiness Record in 2019, the Netherlands became the fifth happiest nation in the world? Crazy stuff. Just how do they do it?
The answer is: Set aside some time to do nothing. That’s right. Instead of rushing from task to task throughout your Monday, take some daily “me time” to allow your body to recharge. This is what the Dutch call ‘Niksen’.
If you’re feeling stressed, taking a quick 10-15 minutes out of your day for some mindful meditation will help you just ‘be’ rather than constantly ‘doing’.
In recent months, our only exercise has been a trip to the fridge. When those Blue Monday feelings hit, it’s time to inject some exercise into your daily routine.
Whether you prefer an energetic run or relaxing walk, the combination of fresh air and exercise can kickstart your endorphins and help clear your mind.
Too chilly outside? There are plenty of home workouts you can follow, whether you’re using household items as weights or your own bodyweight – there’s no excuse!
When you’re feeling in a total slump, getting out of the house can lift your mood entirely.
Chat to your family.
According to psychologists, talking to your family is one of the best ways to quash your bad mood. If you’re unable to meet up in person, take advantage of technology and start a group chat or start a video call.
Talking through your circumstances and feelings with one of your loved ones is the best way to feel supported, especially when it feels like the Monday-iest day ever.
There’s no need to feel glum on your own, with social support working as a great antidote to the Monday blues.
Take some time to clear your mind.
Whether you prefer yoga or meditation, studies have found both to have a positive impact on your mind and body.
By taking a moment to concentrate on your breathing and wash away those Monday blues, you can wave goodbye to feeling gloomy and say hello to New Year motivation!
Keep in touch with your friends.
When those Blue Monday feelings hit, don’t sit and stir, chat to your friends. When we’re feeling low, talking to our friends is one of the best ways to pick up your mood. With today’s technology, there’s no need to suffer alone and keep those feelings inside.
Pick up the phone and message a friend, or take advantage of social media and video calling to break up your day with conversations with friends.
Since the holidays are over, seeing friends and family can feel like a lifetime ago! Don’t let time slip by, simply jump on the phone and you’ll feel your mood pick up in no time.