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Today is “Blue Monday” but is it myth or fact?

Leading mental health charities such as Mind reject the notion of Blue Monday, believing it trivialises depression which is a serious condition and can occur on any day.

Others state Blue Monday was part of a marketing ploy by a travel company to help sell more holidays.

Perhaps there is some truth?

Regardless of whether you chose to believe in Blue Monday or not, there is no denying that January can be a challenging time of year.  The enthusiasm of a “new year, new me” may be waning, and the arrival of spring still feels like some time away.  The lack of sunlight and vitamin D can directly affect our mood and energy levels.

In fact, only yesterday I was looking at flights for this year’s summer holiday. I was completely unaware it was Blue Monday today, but like many people, I am yearning for blue skies and sun.

It’s normal to lack motivation in winter months.

We may feel like retreating into our homes and avoiding social interaction; in some respects, this is very normal.  The winter solstice has not long passed, a period of descent and rest.  Just as we see in nature and animals, it is a time for hibernation.  As humans, it is a chance to connect with our inner selves and reflect upon the year that has been and gone.  It is a restorative time to let things go and embrace the possibilities of what a new year can bring.

Be kind to yourself.

If I could give you one piece of advice today, being kind to yourself would be it.

Who cares if you have already fallen off the bandwagon of “Dry January”? That you are nowhere nearer shedding the Christmas weight? That you are regretting financial decisions taken over Christmas? Or, that you have entered a new year still feeling troubled in some way.

Whilst I believe change does not happen by accident and we are the product of our choices, sometimes we all need a “duvet day”. A day when we take some time off from the pressure we place upon ourselves, we turn the volume down on our internal critical voice, and we do something we enjoy.

In fact, this advice goes whatever the day because I agree with the notion that a low mood can impact regardless of the time of year. Life can be full of up’s and down’s.

How can you banish the “Blue Monday” blues?

  1. Look after yourself

It might sound simple but ensuring you eat a healthy and balanced diet, getting enough sleep and keeping active can really support your wellbeing.  Try to get out for some fresh air within daylight hours, even a short walk around the block will have an impact.

  1. Practise gratitude

It’s all too easy to focus on what is wrong or missing from your life.  Shifting your focus onto what IS right and what you DO have can help put things in perspective.  Ending your day by noting down 3 things you feel grateful for can be really helpful.  This can include simple things such as having enjoyed the sunshine on a crisp winter’s day.

  1. Accept a low mood will pass

It is natural for us to experience episodes of low mood, motivation and energy.  Remember they are not permanent states of being, and they will pass.

  1. Book in things to look forward to

Perhaps like me you are thinking about getting your holiday booked. But having things to look forward to can be inexpensive. Simple things can give you a real life such as planning to see a friend, booking in for a 10k run, planning a date night, write a bucket list for 2024.

  1. Engage in talking therapy

Perhaps this is a time when you could benefit from reaching out to a professional who is impartial.  It may well be the case that life doesn’t feel as fulfilling as you would like it to be, and you need some support to establish how you would like things to be different.

If you are interested in exploring some of these themes or simply just want to talk, please do not hesitate to contact me via my website  or call on 07532 474946.