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Blue Monday

Posted by
20 Jan 2014

Today is officially the most depressing day of the year - 'Blue Monday' strikes with a vengeance.  Most of you reading this will simply shrug this off as simply another gimmick, but the connotations are quite serious. Today we find that most people have broken their New Year Resolutions, given into temptation and said goodbye to their New Year diet plans, and have fully returned to work.

Some mental health charities see the idea of 'Blue Monday' as a recognised symptom of Season Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression linked to the absence of light in the winter months. With a Mental Health UK poll finding that 3 out of 10 adults rise before sunrise and return home from work after sunset during the winter months, it's not surprising that we can all be feeling the drag of this time of year.

So, how can we beat the winter blues and stay positive?

1. Exercise!

Harder said than done, but exercise can really help you get out of the rut of feeling a little down at this time of year. Exercise is the way forward getting the brain to release mood boosting endorphins. If the idea of a solitary piece of exercise doesn't feel you with excitement, join a exercise group or involve your friends

2. Get stuff done!

Writing down goals and objectives for the month and achieving them can not only alleviate the pressures of work and the tasks in hand but actually give you a sense of achievement, boosting your confidence levels and driving you to undertake additional projects

3. Make sure you have chance to relax!

Sitting back and relaxing is a sure fire way to get yourself through the Monday blues. Reading a book, going for a walk, meditating and listening to your favourite music are all great ways to take 5

4. Laugh

Laughing is known to alleviate stress, so try and laugh as much as possible! Watch your favourite comedy or comedian, attend a local comedy night or just spend time with someone more positive around you

5. Try and do something good

Being kind is a powerful thing which people underestimate - it has more long term benefits than a short term fix and, once you've felt the benefits, you're more likely to continue those good deeds

6. Sleep!

Having a good night sleep can change your outlook on the day ahead, leaving you feeling refreshed and positive for the day ahead

7. Think of the good things in life

Take time to appreciate good weather, beautiful scenery and the positives in our life and how fortunate you are in having those things

8. Limit stimulants

Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are not the best things to keep you bright and perky for an entire day. Ideally keep them to a minimum and make sure that you keep hydrated

9. It's ok to be selfish sometimes!

Although January is usually the time of self deprivation, we need to do what makes us feel good otherwise we have nothing to give to others.

How have you been combatting any January blues? Leave your thoughts and techniques below.

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