It’s Blue Monday
Blue Monday is the name given to the most depressing day of the year, a formula that takes into consideration the amount of time since Christmas, the weather, debt levels, and time since giving up on our New Year’s Resolutions – the third Monday in January. The cold, bleak weather can also be problematic for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which affects about one in every 15 people. We’ve listed our top 5 ways to help you get over the January slump.
Exercise is the best mood booster going, it reduces stress hormone levels and allows chemicals called endorphins to be released. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body. It’s crucial to keep moving even when all you want to do is sit on the sofa, it will keep you focused and clear-headed, ready to take on any challenges.
Sunlight boosts the happy hormone, serotonin in the body. Due to fewer daylight hours during the winter there is less opportunity for the body to soak up this sunlight and Vitamin D, meaning a dip in the amount of serotonin in the body. Get out and about as much as possible during daylight hours and use your lunch break to go for a walk. Half an hour outside will make the world of difference and help to reset your body’s circadian rhythm meaning more restful sleep and waking up refreshed in the morning.
Similarly with sunlight, eating the right foods can also promote serotonin production and help you feel upbeat during the winter months. You may be craving stodgy comfort foods when the weather is miserable, but it’s important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to get the full range of nutrients needed to maintain a happy mindset. Avoid alcohol during January, it can play havoc with your hormones and blood sugar, making it difficult to regulate a consistent feeling of wellbeing.
Turn off the Tech
Being constantly connected to technology could negatively impact your mood. Give your mind time to relax and get a good night’s sleep to prepare yourself for the next day. Do this by establishing a regular wind-down routine in the evenings, a cup of herbal tea, a relaxing bath or reading a book will help you switch off. Social media, blue light from your laptop or phone and watching television should be limited to 90 minutes before you plan to go to sleep.
Peruse a new goal
Having a new goal to focus on can keep you positive and motivated during the winter months and January can be a great time to look for a new job. Your current role may be bringing you down or you may simply crave a change of career and direction. Bond Williams have a selection of new roles available, have a look through our latest jobs here to kick-start your 2018: www.bondwilliams.co.uk/job-search
If you are affected by any of the issues discussed in this article and would like more information on mental health and depression, visit Mind’s website: www.mind.org.uk