• Jane Dexter

Blue Monday – 15th January

The third Monday of January has been awarded the gloomy title due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.

Apparently, a university professor managed to precisely calculate the most depressing day of the year, using the following formula:

Where weather=W, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. ‘D’ is not defined in the release, nor are units.

Supposedly the date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

However, all may not be as it seems here, as it turns out this was in fact a PR stunt by Sky Travel.

So, how can we beat the blues? Here are a few ways…

Reach out. When you feel low, it can seem like no one cares. That’s not necessarily true. When you feel out of sorts, it can change how you perceive others in your life.

Take a moment to reach out to two or three people.

Walk over to a colleague and ask how her/his weekend was.

Call your mum/dad/sister/brother/bestie for a chat.

Even say hello to the cashier at the supermarket.

When you interact with people, you will feel less alone and less down.

Take stock of your life. By this we mean think through what is going right and what you want to do differently. Think about positive relationships in your life. Make plans to take a weekend break. Allow yourself to dream about the future. When something negative comes to mind, acknowledge it and move on to something more positive.

Do something good for your body. This could be eating a healthy meal, doing a few minutes of yoga, taking a walk or run, riding your bike. Getting a massage is also a good option.

Express yourself. Write a journal entry or a poem. Sketch, paint, colour in a colouring book. Dance, write a song, sing a song! Allow your emotions and feelings to come out in any way you wish. Keep it private if you wish, or share it. Be silly or serious. Just be real and be yourself.

Distraction. Sometimes one of the best things you can do to get out of a bad mood is to get involved in something that takes all of your attention. Go to the cinema. Research the strange and wonderful. Find the answer to a question that’s always bothered you.

Get outside. Being out in the air and sun/rain/snow/fog has an energising effect. Try and use all your senses to experience where you are. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? What do you feel? What do you taste?

Take a shower or a bath. There is something about being clean that feels amazing. Take a long shower and enjoy how the water feels on your skin and how the soap smells. Stay in until your fingers get wrinkly if you want. If you’re a parent and have small kids around, this might need to wait until someone else can watch the kids. Having to hop out of the bath every 2 minutes to break up a fight or get a glass of milk is not relaxing!

Remember the last time you felt wonderful. Close your eyes and think about the last time you felt great. Where were you? Who was with you? What were you doing? Put as much detail into your memory as you can, including what you felt, tasted, heard, smelled, and saw. Take a few minutes to enjoy that memory.

If we all follow the above advice we’re sure to beat the winter blues!

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