It’s common knowledge that January is the most disliked month of the year, but why? Although the new year brings excitement and ambition for many, it also signals that the Christmas holidays are officially over, and we have to open our laptops and go back to work.
Created as a PR stunt by UK travel company Sky Travel in 2005, Blue Monday is considered to be the most difficult day of the year and although there is no scientific proof of this, I think we can all agree that the cold weather and dark evenings that January brings doesn’t compare to the spring and summer months! This coupled with the exhaustion from the celebrations and festivities in the month prior really does make for a pretty rubbish month.
With social isolation and the cost of living rising, spreading awareness about mental well-being has never been more important. It’s amazing to see numerous mental health charities and companies using Blue Monday as a springboard to spread a positive message and reach out to those that need help. The Samaritans have turned Blue Monday into Brew Monday to remind everyone to reach out for a cuppa and a catch up with the people you care about. You can host your own Brew Monday event, maybe in the office at work or even do something as simple as picking up the phone and checking in with someone you care about.
Since its inception in 2005, Blue Monday has always fallen on the third or fourth Monday in January. So, this year, Blue Monday is on the 16th of January and instead of brushing it aside and trying to forget it exists, we want to use this opportunity to put a positive spin on the doom and gloom by giving you some simple ways to help you feel better and get through those tough days.
Exercise – Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that after you finish reading this blog you need to start running up and down hills or run marathons! Research by the NHS has confirmed that even just 30 minutes of simple aerobic exercise a day, such as walking, can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. So, why not put your trainers on and head down to the local park for a walk? If you want a bit of extra motivation, take part in RED January and raise money while you move and join thousands of other people this month.
Eat Healthily – When you have such a busy schedule and are swamped with work, it’s easy to fall into the trap of ordering takeaways and eating unhealthily. Stick to a balanced diet, making sure that you are eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. You could even try planning and preparing meals in advance to help save time.
Talk to Family and Friends – The start of the year is a difficult time for many of us and if you are feeling low the best thing that you can do is talk to someone – this could be a family member, a friend or a local charity that will pick up the phone to listen to your worries and offer you advice.
Beating the blues can be tricky, especially at this time of year but with the help of these simple tips you can get through January and look forward to the rest of the year.