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Depression Mental Health Self-Care

Blue Monday – A Short Guide To Surviving the Most Depressing Day of the Year

January is, arguably, the most depressing time of the year. This is corroborated by the fact it has even been awarded it’s own depression day – ‘Blue Monday’ (as if Mondays weren’t bad enough), which falls on the third Monday of the month. Yes, that’s today! Lucky us!

Blue Monday – the Mondayest Monday out of all the Mondays in the calendar

Why has it earned itself such a title? A combination of winter darkness, frosty weather, post-Christmas gloom (the result of over-eating/over-spending) and freshly failed New Year’s resolutions can leave us all feeling a little deflated and demotivated.

Even the television turns on us; no longer are we being visually tempted to indulge in scrumptious food, lavish gifts and the great indoors, we are now being instructed to detox, save, cleanse and buy the latest detox teas… like now.

The good news is, in very simple terms, there is actually no hard evidence to support the claim that the 18th January is the most depressing day of the year.

So let’s prove it wrong!

Here are our top 8 tips for getting through Blue Monday and the rest of the month:

The January Guide

1. Lower your expectations of yourself.

All too often we are our own worst critics; setting goals and resolutions for a new year is a great motivator, but don’t let those goals turn into beating sticks if you fall short. Be supportive of yourself.

Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean it’ll be a bad week, month or year. Talk kindly to yourself, you’re doing the best you can!

2. Do something for someone else.

An act of kindness is not only a great way to give yourself a morale boost, but you will also cheer-up someone you care about in the process! Focusing on someone else’s needs will also serve as a welcome distraction from your own.

Even a little whatsapp or DM telling someone you’re thinking of them or how much you value their friendship can go a long way.

3. Keep it simple.

January can be a stressful month so look at ways to keep your life simple.

Don’t say yes to things you don’t want to do and practise honesty with your family and friends so they know how you are truly feeling. You will feel more connected and closer to them through this honesty.

4. Socialise.

Making plans to do things you enjoy or just seeing friends is a great way of boosting your overall well-being and happiness. Everyone tries to see each other BEFORE Christmas, but why not catch up in January?

asleep, train, window

5. Practise mindfulness or meditation.

The only wrong way to meditate is to not do it at all, so why not give it a go? Taking the time to sit still with yourself – however busy or calm your head chatter is – is proven to have a multitude of benefits on your mental health.

Just like your body needs attention and exercise, so does your mind. Don’t feel like you have to tackle a full on hour of meditation right out the gate. Start with a quick 5 mins and then extend it, it can really help! There’s load of free guided and unguided meditations online and via loads of apps to see what your favourite is.

6. Gratitude.

It is can be so easy to forget the things in our lives we have to be grateful for, especially in a month like January.

Actively thinking of things we are grateful for can transform a glass empty kind of moment into a glass full kind of moment. It can help add a little bit of perspective when we need it most.

7. Action to the contrary.

What we need to do and what we want to do can feel very conflicting. Nine times out of ten, the best action to take can feel the most counter-intuitive.

Get up, get dressed and fake it ’til you make it! This can work in helping lift our mood. Where the body leads the mind follows.

So get going and gently put one foot in front of the other.

8. Reach out.

It might be a shiny new year but that thing that has been playing on your mind, or keeping you up at night won’t have magically disappeared because it’s now 2022.

If you feel like you need it, be brave and get some support here at Ditch the Label.

Don’t suffer in silence, we care and want to help…..whatever month of the year it is!


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