6 Actionable Tips For Blue Monday & Beyond
The infamous Blue Monday is upon us.
If you haven’t heard of it before there is an argument that the third Monday of the year is the most depressing day of the year as the post-Christmas blues set in and most new year’s resolutions have fizzled out.
We take this with a pinch of salt, especially since a PR company coined the term Blue Monday!
However this is a good opportunity for us to share some simple yet impactful tips for a happier, more productive and more fulfilled 2021.
Exercise can have a huge impact on not just our physical health but also our mental wellbeing, and unfortunately this is something that is overlooked.
Taking some time out to get active can drastically reduce anxiety and depression as well as improve self-esteem, make your brain sharper, relieve stress and give you a better quality sleep all of which have a direct impact on your mental wellness.
Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3 days a week is all that is needed for you to feel these benefits. And these 30 minutes don’t need to be continuous, three 10-minute walks at a brisk pace are believed to be just as useful as one 30-minute walk at the same speed.
2. Simplify your life
The world in 2021 and the way many of us live our lives is non-stop and can sometimes overwhelm us without us even realising until it is too late leading to higher than necessary stress and anxiety.
Taking some time out and being mindful of where our attention is spent and eliminating unnecessary clutter can help us feel more refreshed and give us time to focus on key things in our lives that really matter and give us joy.
Giving thanks and being mindful of what we have in our lives is strongly associated with greater happiness.
Taking some time to think and reflect on the positive things in our lives helps us appreciate just how lucky we are and these positive thoughts when done consistently have a direct impact on our mood and mental wellbeing. Many of us, me included, have a tendency to get bogged down in our day to day problem solving and often forget to take a step back and appreciate the good things we have in our lives and being thankful for the position we are in.
4. Get some rest and a stable sleep pattern
Our sleeping habits can have a huge impact on our mental health. How many times can you remember a day not going at all to plan after a poor night’s sleep?
Mind sum up the cycle perfectly; lack of sleep results in tiredness which leads to difficulty dealing with daily life such as getting irritable, upset and feeling like nothing is going your way which then results in lower self-esteem and feelings of worry and stress. If we don’t break this cycle with some time to rest and get in a regular healthy sleeping pattern then the results can be disastrous to our mental wellbeing.
5. Find time to do something you enjoy
Taking some time to switch off from your worries is healthy for your mental-being too, as long as it is not used as an excuse to hide away from your problems.
Whether you have a hobby, enjoy physical exercise, play sport, cook, bake, paint or even just enjoy tuning out and streaming your favourite tv show from start to finish over a weekend. If it gives you joy and allows you to take some time out for yourself we couldn’t recommend it enough.
6. Take some time for a chat
Whilst we encourage you to take every step from this article taking some time to talk to others is probably the most important thing we can do to improve our mental wellbeing.
It is not just talking about your feelings that can have a positive impact on your mental health. Spending quality time talking with family, friends and loved ones about anything can give an uplift to our mood. With the current situation and strict social distancing it is now more important than ever to keep connected and stay in touch with the important people in our lives.
If you find yourself feeling down or out of sorts we’d encourage speaking with a loved one, family member or friends and if things get especially tough we’d urge you to contact your GP. The NHS website also has a comprehensive list of helplines to discuss your mental health anonymously.