Every year, the third Monday of January has become known as Blue Monday – supposedly the day of the year when we’re feeling the lowest. Theory has it that the combination of cold, dark days, the return to work, the financial pinch of Christmas spending, coupled with guilt of any broken New Year’s resolutions would have us feeling down in the dumps.
This year, Blue Monday falls on 17 January and Compass Support’s Health and Wellbeing team are ready for it with five top tips on how to beat the blues and look after your mental health.
1. Try something new ✨
One of our top tips would be to enjoy January by embarking on small personal challenges. Why not do something today that will make you feel better tomorrow? It’s even better if you can try something new.
Plucking up the courage to join a new activity could bring with it, new skills and new friends. Our Get Healthy Get Working programme offers a wide range of activities aimed at building confidence, promoting healthier lifestyles and supporting those looking for employment into work.
Alternatively donating an hour or two of your week to some volunteer work great way of helping you to connect with the local community, especially if you’re new to the area.
We also have a range of new projects launching in the next few months, so be sure to keep an eye out!
2. Start your spring clean early! 🧹
Decluttering can improve your mood as well as provide a sense of achievement & satisfaction so why not have a post-Christmas clear-out?
If you find decluttering hard, start small to avoid getting overwhelmed. Either concentrate on one cupboard, one set of shelves or one part of a room. Alternatively, decide on a length of time to have a sort out; you can get a lot done even with just 15 minutes a day!
You can recycle or donate any items to local recycling charity, Upcycle. This way, any items that you haven’t used during the past year, or that you no longer need, can start a new life in a new home.
Finally, you can celebrate your accomplishment by taking some before and after photos to see the transformation of your newly decluttered space.
3. Make a ‘ta da’ list instead of a ‘to-do’ list 📃
‘To do’ lists can become overwhelming, especially if you don’t manage to tick everything off. Writing down what we have done, as we do it, is a way of looking and seeing how much we actually have achieved!
Even something as simple as ‘have taken a shower’ can be added to the ‘ta da’ list as that in itself can be an achievement on low mood days.
4. Listen to upbeat music 🎵
The right music can be soul-soothing. So when you’re feeling a bit blue, take time out to listen to some upbeat music to get those energy levels lifted. You can even dance like no one is watching if you need to. Not only will dancing also lift your mood, it’s a little bit of exercise too!
5. Spend 15 minutes outside everyday 🚶
A bit of fresh air really can make a big difference. Being outside in nature can lower stress levels, help us relax and give our mood the boost it needs. Come rain or shine, try to make sure you get 15 minutes of fresh air a day, whether it’s sitting on a chair outside or taking a brisk walk – anything goes.
Or maybe instead of meeting a friend inside a coffee shop, wear an extra layer and have the catch up outside. If it’s raining, grab your umbrella, raincoat and put on your “muddy shoes” …and maybe try a bit of singing in the rain!
Our Castle Vale Walking Group invites local residents to explore surrounding areas at your own pace while meeting new friends. So why not get in touch with the team to find out more.