Ready to start loving (blue) Mondays?
The festive season is a distant memory, you’ve completely run out of Christmas chocolate, and you’re beginning to wonder whether winter will ever end; it must be mid-January. And with it comes what some experts claim to be the most depressing day of the year: the fittingly-titled Blue Monday.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To help you turn Blue Monday into a day you love instead of loathe, here are eight ways to beat it:
Don’t sit still
OK, so incorporating some exercise into your day may seem like a struggle at first, but we promise you’ll feel better for it afterwards. Thanks, endorphins.
And it doesn’t have to be a hard-core workout either. Something as simple as walking to work, taking the stairs, or going for a quick jog is often enough to snap out of a slump.
N.B: extra points for activities scientifically proven to induce happiness, including skipping, star jumps, and salsa dancing.*
Find the light
It’s mid-January, and that can only mean one thing: you probably haven’t seen the sun in a while.
But a lack of natural sunlight can not only affect your mood, but also limit the amount of vitamin D your body produces. This means getting outside as much as possible is vital to boost your endorphin levels and increase alertness.
So whether you make it your goal to get outside as much as possible, or just incorporate some much-needed vitamin D (e.g. eggs, fatty fish, milk) into your diet, soaking up the sunlight could do wonders for your wellbeing.
If all else fails, there’s always the window seat…
Put your headphones in
New Year, new uplifting Spotify playlist.
Not only does your brain release dopamine (a neurotransmitter linked to motivation and reward) when you listen to music, it also helps to improve your mood. And if you listen to a certain early 2000s boy band, your ‘Blue’ Monday could have a whole new meaning (#AllRise).
Just make sure you choose the right genre; happy pop songs = good, overly aggressive Bavarian-based death metal = maybe not.
If in doubt, always pick The Lighthouse Family. Because is it even possible to be sad after listening to ‘Lifted’ on repeat? No. The answer is no.
Pay it forward
Sometimes, the best way to cheer yourself up is by cheering somebody else up.
Whether you give up your seat on the train, pay for someone’s coffee, or even just compliment a colleague, these little random acts of kindness won’t just brighten someone else’s day, they’ll also improve your own positivity.
And by practicing altruism, you’ll achieve a greater sense of wellbeing.
If you’re lucky, your good deed might even be reciprocated. Fingers crossed for office donuts.
Give yourself a boost
Whether it’s an indulgent dinner, a pampering movie night, or an impromptu shopping spree (see also: January sales), today’s the perfect day to do whatever makes you happy.
But if certain New Year’s resolutions mean chocolate is off the table, don’t panic. There are a number of diet-friendly foods that can help improve your mood – from bananas, nuts, and pasta, to blueberries, cherries, and pomegranate.
Eat all of these, and you’re essentially eating a cocktail of antioxidants, potassium, and vitamins – all of which are proven to alleviate stress, boost your mood, and increase energy levels.
What’s not to like?
OK, so you’re not feeling great today. But that doesn’t mean every day needs to be the same.
There’s always tomorrow (and the next day, and the next day…you get the picture).
Because one bad Monday doesn’t mean you can’t love the rest of them. And there’s no better way to beat blue Monday than to plan for the future.
Whether you organise a holiday, a weekend road trip, or even just arrange dinner with friends; having something to look forward to will definitely help to improve your mood.
Remember: the best way to predict the future is to create it (and other, equally inspirational quotes).
Look on the bright side
Sure, it might be mid-January, it’s definitely cold outside, and your bank account has probably been in minus figures since December – but that doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to be happy about.
By switching to a positive mindset, practicing mindfulness, and listing of all the things you’re grateful for (instead of what’s making you sad) – you might find that your mood greatly improves.
And if you’re struggling to be optimistic? Think about the fact that you won’t have to buy any more Christmas presents for at least eleven months. You’re welcome.
Start your job search
If it’s your job that’s getting you down – Blue Monday might be the day you finally turn it around.
By using it to refresh your CV and kick-start your job search, you could be able to turn Blue Monday into the day you applied for your dream job (instead of just another day you were miserable in your old one).
And whilst you’re unlikely to be able to hand in your resignation right away, putting the effort into submitting carefully tailored applications will definitely pay dividends in the long run.
Ready to find a job worth waking up for? It’s time to love Mondays…
*may not be scientifically proven
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