Blue Monday….said to be the most depressing day of the year, falls on 21stJanuary this year.
Blue Monday came about in 2005, when psychologist Cliff Arnall, a lecturer at the University of Cardiff (who specialises in seasonal disorders), deemed the third Monday of January to the worst day of the year. According to Arnall, the weather is miserable, Christmas season is officially over, your work routine is back to normal, and your bank account has taken a hit over the Christmas holidays. Adding to that, many people have abandoned their New Year’s resolutions and their high hopes for achieving positive changes have sunk to an all-time low. All sounds very gloomy!
It’s hard to know what the real causes of feeling so blue are, although seasonal affective disorders are the obvious starting point. When the cold weather arrives, it’s easy to almost hibernate rather than get out and about in it. Whatever the causes though, there are easy ways to brighten your mood and not give up hope on those positive changes….
Keep up with you regular workouts:
Everyone knows that exercise produces mood-boosting endorphins, this isn’t the only reason to get yourself outside of your cosy home…just the act of getting outside will make you happier. Getting up and moving around (and it doesn’t have to be for long) has been proven to reduce feelings of depression.
Keep yourself occupied with fun indoor activities:
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the fun has to stop, you just need to get more creative! Think of the things you put off in the summer, scrap booking, doing puzzles, cooking or reading a book.
Eat more mood-boosting foods:
It’s easy to fall in to the trap of eating unhealthily in the winter. It’s the season of rich, warming indulgent foods. Try to include more mood boosting foods such as nuts, oily fish, oats, bananas, lentils, chicken and turkey, spinach and of course a bit of ever faithful dark chocolate (make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa and try not to eat the whole bar!!)
You can still absorb some sunshine in the wintertime so when it actually shines, get outside! Even if it’s a short walk around the block or parking your car further away than you normally would, getting outside is important. You can also boost your vitamin d levels by eating foods like mushrooms, fatty fish, and eggs.