Today is officially the most depressing day of the year. That’s according to research by life coach and PR consultant Cliff Arnall. Formally Blue Monday, it’s reportedly a time when people are at their lowest.
What with Christmas out of the way, and temperatures plummeting, many find themselves unmotivated, and wishing for better weather. Not only is spring a long way off, but there’s still two weeks to go until payday. Awful, we know.
However, with a few simple tweaks, you can turn what is otherwise a miserable day into a positive one. Here are seven ways to beat Blue Monday.
Hit the Gym
Straightforward enough, but if you’ve fallen off the wagon, now is the time to buck up your ideas. Join a gym, take up a sport or start cycling to work. Exercise is an excellent mood booster that relieves stress and improves memory. If you’re pressed for time, get off a stop early on the way to work and walk the rest of the way.
Do a Good Deed
Kindness costs nothing and can have a big impact on the lives of those around you. Small gestures such as paying a friend or work colleague a compliment, helping an old person across the road, giving up your seat on the train or holding open a door for a stranger does wonders for the spirit. Why not go a step further and donate to a charity like Mind.
Plan A Holiday
Nothing says escaping the doom and gloom like a trip somewhere warm. Decide whether it’s a beach holiday or city break you’re after before considering locations. There are lots of great deals available online this month, so shop around before you book. Destinations worth considering include Marrakech, Oman, Perth and Costa Rica.
Do Something You’re Passionate About
Bring some excitement to your day by picking up a new skill or hobby. Pop along to a photography class, invest in music lessons or whip out some colouring pencils and start drawing. You’re never too old to do something you love. With January being the start of the year, it’s the perfect excuse to get the ball rolling.
Dream for the Future
Sports figures are regularly encouraged to picture themselves at their best. As in, winning a match, or reaching peak fitness. Research shows that thinking in this way stimulates those same parts of the brain that are activated on physical completion of said tasks. Take some time out to daydream, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes at lunchtime. Thinking positively will help you reach your goals quicker.
Minimise your Screen Time
Okay, so you might not be able to get around using a computer a work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch off in your own time. Give Instagram a rest for the evening, and instead read a book or go for a catch-up drink with an old friend. Scrolling through your mini-feed when you’re down will only make you feel worse.
Have a Clear Out
People tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over Christmas, from toiletries to Secret Santa gifts. Getting rid of unwanted goods is a brilliant way to mentally start afresh. Use the opportunity to sell old items such as furniture, jewellery and baby clothes. This way you’ll make some extra money to spend on things you actually need.