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How to overcome Blue Monday as date approaches

How to overcome Blue Monday as date approaches

Brits don't have to be down in the dumps because Blue Monday is en route.

December has drawn to a close, the decorations are coming down and the most depressing day of the year is en route.

Although a lot of us start off the New Year with fire in our bellies and a new gym membership, there's a bump in the road in January that we just can't avoid - Blue Monday.

It's said to be the most gloomy 24 hours of the next twelve months, as we're all desperate for our wages after going overboard with the Christmas presents, the weather puts years on us and a host of people will have abandoned their resolutions already.

All these realisations hit you like a ton of bricks at some point in the middle of January on a Monday morning and the nation as whole is in a right bad mood - or in other words, feeling pretty blue - hence the term Blue Monday.

The phrase wasn't exactly coined by a psychiatrist, though.

It was bizarrely a UK travel company, Sky Travel, who came up with it and we've all just sort of ended up following suit.

Back in 2005, the firm said they had used an equation to calculate which day of the year would be the most depressing for countries in the Western hemisphere.

We're all feeling the pinch and regretting the festive partying when Blue Monday rolls around.
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Sky Travel supposedly took 'various factors' into account, such as debt levels, temperatures, the number of days since our last pay day, the amount of time until the next bank holiday and the average hours of daylight - but their aim was just to sell more holidays.

The company ended up landing on the third Monday in January as Blue Monday - although it can also fall on the second or fourth Monday. So as you can gather, it's wasn't an exact science when working this out.

Basically, just beware of the blues throughout the back end of the month.

This year, Blue Monday is on 15 January, 2024, so we've had a look at some tips for how we can all get through this rotten day with as much ease as possible.

For starts, kick off your day by sticking New Order's legendary track, Blue Monday, as tapping your toes to that tune will cheer anyone up who's feeling down in the dumps - and it's a two finger salute to Sky Travel due to the irony of it.

But in all seriousness, don't let a day dictate your mood - head outside and get some fresh air, take in the scenery and get those endorphins pumping.

The dreaded day falls on 15 January this year.
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If you really can't bare to leave the warmth of your home for a woodland walk, bring a taste of the outdoors inside and spruce up your living space with plants, greenery, or even with pictures of nature scenes.

Spend time with your nearest and dearest too - as this also has the dual benefit of giving your mood a boost while allowing you to check up on each other throughout Blue Monday.

Don't beat yourself up if you ditched your New Year's resolutions either, as it's just a minor setback. Take it on the chin and let it fuel you for a second attempt at smashing your goals.

The same goes for people who are feeling bad about not going to the gym - but the great news is, you don't need a membership for somewhere to exercise and feel good about yourself.

That walk might come in handy as a bit of light cardio, or you could head on a bike ride with your mates, or simply turn up the music and dance those minced pies off.

Maybe that Monday won't be so blue after all, eh?

If you want some further professional advice, we previously got the lowdown from Dr Evgenia Stefanopoulou, lead clinical psychologist for Rightsteps, on how to get through 15 January with a smile on your face.

There are many ways to avoid feeling blue this January, including getting some fresh air.
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Some of Dr Evgenia's tips include:

  • Looking (optimistically) to the future: Embracing optimism is not about seeing everything through 'rose-tinted glasses' or ignoring problems, stress or worries. It can help us to clearly see what is going wrong, so that we can try to turn it right.
  • Set yourself achievable and realistic goals: While our new year's resolutions can feel great, they may often feel too difficult to stick to. Around this time of the year, they may already be dropped, or even forgotten.
  • Remind yourself that setbacks are temporary: Life is never easy, but further challenges this new year may have contributed an additional toll. It is okay to acknowledge our feelings when we're discouraged, and talk about what's wrong. We could remind ourselves that these challenges will pass and ask for extra support, if needed.
  • Accept, radically: It is often easy to feel 'stuck' when a problem arises and we feel like we have little or no control over it, at least in the short run. By fully accepting that this is the way things are right now, we can accept reality just as it is, rather than focusing on 'what should be', instead.
  • Taking Stock: Writing down (or keeping a mental log of) the things we are grateful for on a daily basis can lower our stress levels and help us feel calmer. It can also offer us a better insight into what is really important and matters to us.
  • Find Your Support System: Whether it's during the day or after work, spending some time talking to people who care about us, like family, friends and workmates, can be a great source of support. Opening up to others can help us to feel more motivated and lift our mood during stressful times.

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Mental Health, Money, News, UK News, Weather, UOKM8