How to Beat Blue Monday

Today is ‘Blue Monday’, or rather the third Monday in January that’s been dubbed officially as the most depressing day of the year, every year.

It comes after the initial realisation sinks in that the holidays are over, that our bank accounts have taken an inevitable hit, and that many of our New Year’s resolutions have been made and already broken.

All of this plus the weight of an ongoing pandemic can put a heavy strain on our mental health, however, it’s important to remember that we still have a lot to celebrate and look forward to as 2022 emerges.

That’s why we’ve put together some tips on how to beat Blue Monday today – and for good!

1. Set Goals, Not Resolutions

The festive season often hinders our ability to set realistic goals for personal and professional growth. This is because we get so caught up in holiday fun and indulgence that when the New Year finally comes, many of us set unmanageable expectations of ourselves in the form of far-reaching resolutions.

Since goals tend to be less rigid than resolutions, a much better alternative is to set achievable goals rather than put all your energy into anything too overly ambitious.

Start out by picking one or two goals to work towards at your own pace, integrating them into your lifestyle rather than attempting to change it completely. Working towards these small, more obtainable objectives will make a lasting, long-term impact over fixed and often failing resolutions.

2. Eat Right and Exercise

We know that eating right and exercising can help us beat the blues, however, we also know that it can be easier said than done sometimes.

That’s why it’s important to make the little things count where you can. Substituting refined carbohydrates, for example, and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a quick fix that can boost both your mood and emotional wellbeing.

Similarly, fitting in time for daily exercise like going for a short, brisk walk, for instance, is also guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and feeling better.

3. Socialise

It would be an understatement to say that the pandemic hasn’t gravely affected our ability to socialise with family and friends in person these past months, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still make the effort to reach out where we can.

Whether it be a Zoom call, phone chat, or even a socially distant walk in the park with a friend, finding ways to socialise that work best for you gives you the opportunity for emotional support and enhanced wellbeing while connecting with loved ones.

4. Make Plans

When you’re feeling down, one of the best remedies is to make plans and get excited about them!

Even if you can’t physically book a flight yet, looking at future holiday destinations and planning out what you’d like to do can really help bring you out of a funk.

If the thought of planning a big trip is too much, make plans for a fun, creative dinner with the people in your bubble over the weekend, or even plan the line up to your next movie night.

Whatever the case, having something to look forward to will undoubtedly keep your mind on the exciting opportunities ahead.

5. Spread the Love

It’s important to remember that you have the majority of control over whether your Blue Monday will be bleak or bright.

This means there are things you can do to put a positive spin on the day, and that includes going out of your way to show random acts of kindness to neighbours and peers.

When we help people it makes them happy, and in return, we feel happier too. Whether it’s assisting someone in isolation with their shop or donating goods to charity, helping others is shown to reduce stress, ultimately benefitting your overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

6. Try Something New

For some people, the idea of trying out something new might seem taxing when you’re already juggling every other aspect of your life, but it doesn’t have to be!

Starting off small and simply trying out a new recipe, starting a journal, or even signing up for a new online aerobics class you’ve never tried are all great ways to test the waters for activities that could turn into lasting hobbies.

When you keep yourself busy with things you enjoy, you’ll reap significant benefits by diminishing any lingering feelings of anxiety and depression.

7. Take It Easy

Sometimes all you can do to get through Blue Monday is take it easy and make time for self-care.

Crack open that book you’ve been meaning to read, catch up on your favourite show, or order in a little comfort food – whatever makes you feel good when you’re feeling low – because sometimes that’s all it takes to push past the gloom and improve your mood.

If Blue Monday gets you down, or any other day for that matter, don’t let it keep you down. Tomorrow is another day, and with these 7 tips to beat the blues, we’ll be ready for it!

Learn more about our CIPD programmes today.