If you’ve tuned into the news today, or picked up a newspaper, then you’ll have seen that Today (Monday 15th January 2018) is being called “Blue Monday“.
Blue Monday typically falls on the third Monday of January and is (apparently) the most depressing day of the year.
The concept is backed up by a rather impressive looking equation but given that the idea was originally announced in a Press Release by a travel company, it’s more pseudoscience than true science-backed research.
However, its rise on social media and in the traditional press shows that people are happy to blame their depressed feelings on a day, rather than the underlying cause which is rather worrying.
So, if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps today, don’t use Blue Monday as an excuse to sit around and mope, use the tips below to help beat your depressed state.
The simple act of smiling can have a whole host of health benefits, releasing “happy” chemicals into the brain which can help lift you mood and make you feel happier even if you didn’t feel it initially.
Evidence is showing that exercise can help ease depression thanks to the endorphins and sense of accomplishment we feel. You might not feel like dragging yourself off the sofa to work up a sweat but once you start you’ll feel the immediate benefits.
3. Go For A Walk
If you’re not able to do vigourous exercise then a simple walk can also help reduce depressive thoughts. Getting out in the fresh air can help you feel better emotionally and focus on other things rather than those that may be part of our depression.
4. Listen To Some Music
I’m not suggesting that you dance like nobody’s watching – although this will certainly help to lift your mood – but just listening to some rousing or uplifting music can help with your mood. To start you off, here’s New Order’s Blue Monday!
5. Watch A Funny Film
Having a good laugh can really boost your mood in the same way that smiling does. With the advent of online streaming services you have no reason not to sit down in front of a funny film and start to feel better. If you’re not sure where to start then check out:
- Rolling Stone’s Readers’ Poll: The 25 Funniest Movies of All Time
- BBC Culture’s 100 Greatest Comedies Of All Time
- Timeout’s 100 Best Comedy Movies
6. Have A Nap
Feeling tired can have a massive effect on our mood so go for a little lie-down and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle everything again. If, like me, you struggle to nap then check out the reasons why napping helps and how to nap well at Lifehacker.
If you don’t have time for a nap then 10 minutes of meditation can help. If you want to learn how to meditate then there are a variety of Podcasts that will provide guided meditations, music and tutorials on how to get the most of your meditation.
8. Seek Help
Sadly, many people internalise their depression and this can make it significantly worse. You don’t have to face depression alone, there are some great resources online to help you get through your dark spots.
Certain professions may feel that they have to tough it out and carry on but this isn’t healthy and can lead to serious mental distress – in 2018 the US Military recorded its highest levels of suicide amongst enlisted personnel in the last 6 years despite increasing efforts to end Veteran suicide.
In the U.K you can call The Samaritans on 116 123
In America you can call The Samaritans on 1 (800) 273-TALK
Other countries can call a Be frienders Worldwide volunteer near you.
What Are Your “Feel Good” Tips?
How do you pick yourself up when you’re feeling a bit low? What’s your favourite laugh out loud film? Let us know in the comments.
If you’re feeling out of sorts it’s important to know what the signs of depressions are and what to do about it – don’t forget that there’s help out there and people you can talk in confidence to if you need some support.