What is Blue Monday?
The 21st of January is apparently the most miserable day of the year, earning its title as Blue Monday. Although it’s seen by many as merely a marketing ploy to persuade people to splash out on a summer holiday, experts have actually worked out a formula for why this particular Monday is supposedly worse than any other.
Blue Monday typically falls on the third Monday of the new year, and takes into account factors like the weather, money issues, the end of Christmas, keeping up with New Year’s resolutions and low motivation.
Although not based on any scientific evidence, the January Blues may actually be due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which anyone can experience. Things like the lack of sunlight and colder weather can affect your mood or energy levels, which is particularly evident in the cold months after the excitement of Christmas.
How do I beat the January blues?
Taking part in Dry January, which is not drinking alcohol for the entirety of the month, can actually help to improve your mood and energy levels. After cracking open the bubbly around Christmas time, Dry January can improve sleeping patterns and help create a more restful night’s sleep, which in turn improves both your physical and mental health.
Keeping active helps to beat fatigue and general feelings of tiredness, regardless of whether it was your New Year’s resolution or not! While going jogging in the dark may not be the best idea, visiting your local gym or participating in some light exercise at home or at work can help to clear the January fog and keep your energy levels up.
Get as much sun as possible, even if you wake up before the sun rises. Sunlight gives us vitamin D, which helps our mood and energy levels, hence why you may often feel sleepy or unhappy in the dark winter months. If it’s not possible for you to experience sunshine this January, over-the-counter vitamin D supplements can help to sustain energy levels.
Take part in the Samaritans’ “Brew Monday” campaign, which encourages people to reach out to others who are feeling lonely and have a brew (or a cup of tea, depending on where you’re from!) together, and raise vital funds for the Samaritans and their hard work. For more information on this campaign, visit their website page here.
Monday doesn’t have to be blue with the help of the right essential aids. A SAD Therapy Light can help to provide a supplement of your daily intake of light, with various dimming settings and a timer, whilst something as simple as a wool blanket can provide physical comfort and warmth in the cold weather.