Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January—which has been dubbed the “most depressing day of the year.” It is believed that on this day, more people suffer from depression and feeling low than on any other day of the year. But why? And what can you do to get beat Blue Monday? Let’s take a look.
What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday was first coined in 2005 by psychologist Cliff Arnall, who created a formula to calculate which date would be most prone to feelings of sadness and depression. The factors considered by his formula included weather conditions, debt levels, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivation levels, and the feeling of a need to take action. Put together, it all adds up to the third Monday in January being labelled as Blue Monday.
Why Do People Feel Low at This Time of Year?
Various studies have found that there are several reasons for feeling low during this period of time. For starters, daylight hours are still limited due to winter, meaning we get less exposure to natural light each day; this can lead to feelings of exhaustion due to a lack of Vitamin D intake. Additionally, many people experience a sort-of post-holiday blues after Christmas has come and gone, leaving us with a feeling that we are missing out on something special or exciting. Finally, some individuals may feel pressured into making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions or goals, leading them down an inevitable path towards failure right before their eyes.
Five Ways to Increase Mood Over Blue Monday and January:
1) Get Outdoors – Natural sunlight is one of the best ways to increase your mood and beat Blue Monday as it is proven that it affects your body’s production of serotonin (the hormone responsible for regulating our emotions). Even if you only manage 15 minutes outdoors each day, make sure you go outside!
2) Exercise – As with natural sunlight, exercise helps release serotonin into our bodies and increases our overall happiness levels by releasing endorphins (chemicals also known as ‘happy hormones’). If you don’t already have an exercise routine, try doing something active for 30 minutes each day, whether that be jogging around your local park or going for a swim at your local leisure centre -it will make all the difference!
3) Eat Healthily To beat Blue Monday – Eating nutrient-rich foods such as fruit & vegetables helps boost energy levels both physically and mentally, giving us more strength throughout our days so we can tackle whatever challenges lie ahead!
4) Spend Time With Friends & Family – Spending quality time with loved ones can be one of the most uplifting activities when feeling low; choose activities which bring everyone together over those that separate us apart, like video games/TV shows etc…
5) Take Regular Breaks – Working too hard without taking regular breaks can be detrimental both physically and mentally, so give yourself permission every once in a while, to relax and unwind away from work/daily chores etc… Taking breaks allows us to re-energize ourselves so we can face these months with positivity!
Blue Monday may not be an enjoyable experience, but these five strategies should help put any feelings of depression at bay until February arrives. The key takeaway here is preparation—we are all human, after all, so if you know how bad January might make you feel, then prepare yourself beforehand by getting plenty of rest during December; eating healthily; exercising regularly; spending quality time with friends & family; getting outdoors whenever possible etc…..… Doing these things will ensure that when Blue Monday comes around next year, you won’t even remember why it got its name in the first place!