Although there is no scientific evidence to support that ‘Blue Monday’ is physically a thing – with the Christmas come down, the dark nights, the challenges around keeping those New Year's resolutions, as well as the credit card bills falling on the doormat – these can all lead to feeling a bit low at this time of the year.
Additionally, I would personally argue, the New Year New Me “Dry January” or “Veganuary” can also be reaching its pinnacle point in habit formation, which can seem the most challenging – however it takes 21 days to begin habit formation – so we’re almost at that first healthy hurdle.
Click Read more for 5 top tips to beat those January BLUES:
Staying connected with family and friends is a great to find support. By speak to others, they can share in any challenges, as well as showing that you’re potentially not alone in your feelings. As human beings we are naturally social creatures, and staying in touch with others can help to feel part of a community, group and supportive setting. If you can’t meet up physically, send someone a message or give them a call. If we have learnt anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, communication is key for a stronger and more positive mental health.
Look to the future
January is a challenging time for most people; being dark, cold, and with Christmas credit card bills looming. It’s important at this time to not purely focus on the here and now but look forward to the future. In less than 2 months time, official spring time will be upon us and the cold dark nights will feel like a distant memory. Think and plan something you will look forward to and put motions in place to make it happen.
Uptake a new challenge
Achieving something will always make us feel a sense of pride, whether it be a small thing you’ve wanted to do for a while, or a big plan you want to work toward. Take something on that you can achieve during this time, and think of the positives this challenge will bring you - why do you want to do it, how will you make it happen, how will you prevent barriers from stopping you achieving your goal. Take something on and soon you’ll feel that rush of achievement before you know it.
Exercising is so important for both mind and body. Exercise releases levels of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline. Exercise improves and helps us to regulate these neurotransmitters, which ultimately help us feel mentally healthy, as well as physically better too. From as simple as getting out for a brisk walk to taking up a new exercise class can make us feel so much better with every other part of our lives. Not only physically but mentally exercising as well is just as important - taking time for yourself, reading a book to learning a new craft can help us to feel endorphins that beat those blues.
Seek out the Sun
It won’t be long until we feel the warmth of the sunshine once more, but the sunshine is not just for the long summer days. Exposure to sunlight increases the brains release of the hormone serotonin, the feel good hormone. Not only that but Vitamin D has a huge benefit on our health and mood. Just 5-15 minutes of sunlight a few times week can help promote rejuvenation, supporting a healthy body and mind.