Overcoming the Monday Blues
The third Monday of January is known as Blue Monday. It’s said to be the most depressing day of the year due to the post-festive blues, it being a Monday and other factors such as the weather.
If you’ve been feeling a little down today, it could be the Monday Blues. And as we’re towards the end of the day, we’ve put together some things you can do to improve your evening and end the day off well.
ORIGINS OF BLUE MONDAY
Let’s go back to the origins of Blue Monday.
In 2005, Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher at Cardiff University in Wales coined the term Blue Monday. He took into account factors such as the weather, time post Christmas, resolutions of the year and debt to come up with the term ‘Blue Monday’. This term is however not scientifically proven by research.
End your day off with some exercise or movement. Exercise can release endorphins which are natural mood boosters. If a run isn’t your cup of tea, try yoga or stretching or even going for a walk outside. We have researched and written a n informative blog all about the effect of exercise on the mind and body. Read more about the benefits of exercise here.
CONNECT WITH OTHERS
Phone family or friends. Talking to a loved one or spending time with them can help overcome the feeling of loneliness or isolation.
Take a moment to reflect on the day and the things that went well. Reflect on things that you are grateful for - this can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower levels of cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. It can also improve your focus and concentration - preparing you for the next day.
DO SOMETHING ENJOYABLE TO YOU
End your day off doing something that you enjoy such as hobbies or creative pursuits.. Do you enjoy painting? Cooking? Or even simply just watching your favourite show or reading a book can help you end the day off well.
Still need ideas? We’ve got a whole post on slowing down and enjoying the day.
While ‘Blue Monday’ may be a widely recognised term, it is important to remember that mental health struggles can happen at any time and should always be taken seriously. It's essential to take care of ourselves physically and mentally and reach out for support when needed. Whether it's through therapy, medication, self-care or a combination of these options, there are plenty of ways to manage and overcome feelings of sadness or depression. Remember, you are not alone, and help is always available.
Stone, A. A., Schneider, S., & Harter, J. K. (2012). Day-of-week mood patterns in the United States: On the existence of ‘Blue Monday’,‘Thank God it's Friday’and weekend effects. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(4), 306-314.