Since 2005, the third Monday in January has been termed “Blue Monday” because it’s the time of year when we are supposedly feeling at our lowest.
We are thought to be more susceptible to feeling down at this time of year due to:
- The weather is usually cold, often wet and lots of grey skies and gloomy days
- We have been back at work for a couple of weeks, and our next holidays seem to be a long way off!
- Debts are often high, and we are coming up to the time for paying off our credit card debt
- And guilt is running high as we have already broken our New Year Resolutions
But is it Blue in reality?
Whilst there are many articles quoting the work of psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall and his formula, which determines the third Monday in January as being the “saddest” day of the year, there are equally as many labelling the formula as pseudoscience!
No matter what your thoughts are about “Blue Monday”, is it really any worse, than the previous one or any other day of the month?
We believe that Blue Monday presents us with an opportunity to take a little time out to think about their own emotional wellbeing and resilience.
Feeling Blue, Lacking Motivation?
The hardest thing for many people when feeling low and lacking in motivation is to take action to change how we are feeling, it can be so difficult to take that first step. The most important thing is to do just one thing, no matter how small…….. one thing which doesn’t take a lot of effort but is likely to have a positive effect on how you are feeling.
Here are a few tried and tested ideas that can be really helpful in lifting a low mood:
- Stand up and have a really good stretch for a couple of minutes – the act of stretching releases mood-lifting chemicals in our brain
- Drink a glass of water – the human brain is approximately 85% water and a lack of hydration can have a negative impact on the functioning of the brain and lead to a low mood. The brain requires a plentiful supply of water to help power our brain processes and the production of important hormones and neurotransmitters
- Have an oil diffuser in the room. Citrus fragrances are particularly helpful in boosting mood-lifting hormones such as serotonin
- Watch a comedy or listen to your favourite comedian. Having a good “belly” laugh is also good for our emotions
- Connect with nature, if you are feeling a little more energetic, going for a walk getting out into the fresh air, so long as you are wrapped up to keep warm, can be so beneficial for your mood
Share to Care
We are all well aware of the importance of encouraging people to talk about their mental health and emotional wellbeing, but it is so often pushed down our list of things we must do, as work pressures tend to get in the way.
Why not introduce “Blue Monday” into your conversations today, by way of opening up conversations around your own, your colleagues and team members emotional wellbeing.
To get you started why not:
- Share how you are feeling and what is going on for you personally, the challenges you are facing and how you are really feeling
- Build some time into your schedule today to have a least one conversation with a colleague about “How they are doing” Remember people often give an automated response the first time you ask. “I’m fine thanks.” So you need to find another way of giving them an opportunity to open up and it may well be that by you sharing how you are feeling will encourage them to open up also
We hope that you will find the tips useful in helping you to take a little time out to reflect upon your own emotional wellbeing and open up conversations with your colleagues, friends and family.
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