Blue Monday

Until recently I thought this was a song not an ‘actual’ day in the calendar….

To be fair I am somewhat right – the song came well before the concept of January’s ‘Blue Monday’ and I confess I now have the sound of New Order from 1983 ringing in my ears as I sit down to write this piece.

What is Blue Monday?

It is reputed to be the day in the year when we are the most feed up, depressed and anxious.  According to wikipedia (yes the font of all knowledge) it was established by a travel company in 2005 when researching the optional time to book your summer holiday.  It calculated the date using a combination of factors such as weather, debt, time since christmas and time since failing your New Year’s Resolution.

It has to be said that the equation has been derided by scientists and mathematicians for being nonsensical and factually incorrect, but whether we believe the date to be correct, with Blue Monday falling on the 16th this year, the fact remains there is a real sense of pressure and anxiety at this time of year. We are all working through some pretty big stuff this month, finding the money to pay the bills, getting up on grey mornings feeling cold, wet and tired not to mention the pressure that we pile on ourselves to ‘Smash our Goals’ in the first few weeks of the year.

So here we are on the eve of Blue Monday, I wanted to help improve your spirits and get you feeling a little more ‘in the pink!’.

5 Ideas to beat the January blues

1 Sing and Dance

Find your favourite tune, sling it on and dance like no one is watching.  Jumping around like a loon will fire off those endorphins and make you giggle – this is my absolute #1 mood enhancing fix.  In our house our go to song is Mr Blue Sky by ELO – every holiday it goes on to get us in the mood to play and have fun.

ELO Mr Blue Sky
Play it LOUD!

2 Get Outside

Make the most of the daylight today, see if you can get 30 minutes outdoors.  If possible take yourself to a green space and walk through a park or out in the woods if that is possible.  I realise it is Monday and therefore work beckons, but even a 15 minute stroll at lunchtime into town, through the park, in your garden or if nothing else is available around the industrial estate will work wonders to boost those mood-enhancing endorphins.

Walk in nature - look for green
Walk in nature, 10,000 steps every day

3 Read a Good Book

Plan some ‘me time’, there is nothing better than curling up with a cup of tea and your favourite book. No mater how stressed or feed-up you may feel loosing yourself in good book gives you the freedom to get away from it all for a time.  This blog on Life Hack gives you 10 reasons why you should read every day even if it’s just for 15 minutes.  Join us the silent revolution and #read415 #12Booksin12Months visit your local on-line book club or library for inspiration.

Adult reading a book
#read415 every day

4 Be Kind

Go out of your way to notice kindness throughout your day and practice being kind yourself.  It is in the simple gestures of kindness that we get the most pleasure and fulfilment.  Be kind like no one is watching, be kind with no expectation on it being returned.  Kindness for the sake of how it makes you feel. Open the door for someone, make a cup of tea, ask a friend how they are and just listen until they are worn out from talking – smile and offer your heartfelt kindness, say hello to strangers and ask them how their day is going….. there are so many opportunities to spread a little kindness in our world.

Smile and the world smiles with you
Smile and the world smiles with you

5 Practice Gratitude

We want true freedom, right, freedom from the daily blues not just the Monday ones.  Gratitude is the key, the other stuff is great, but it is all on the surface. We can feel grateful for the dance or the walk or the good book and an act of kindness but they last for the moment.  When we practice gratitude, every day we open up a place in our mind and our hearts that can control our every day feelings. Celebrating our mini successes on the way to achieving our big dreams, shaping our hopes for a brighter tomorrow and honing our skills to be the person we want to be. Be aware that we can not always change our circumstances but we can change the way we feel about them, gratitude for who we are and what we have done in the moment is the essential ingredient for that. Today and every day tell yourself 3 things you are grateful for.

I am grateful for
I am grateful for…….

 

Wishing you a fabulous and fun ‘Blue Monday’ and please do tell me what you have done today to get yourself into the pink!

Nicky x