According to Dr Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, the third Monday in January (this year 16th January) is the gloomiest day of the year based on factors including weather, debts, time since Christmas and motivation. And as if that isn’t depressing enough, Arnall has predicted that 2017’s Blue Monday will be the most miserable yet because of celebrity deaths, anxiety over Brexit, and fears about a Donald Trump presidency in the US.
On that note we’ve come up with some tips for beating that January blues.
Surround yourself with loved ones
It’s possible that you’re feeling a bit low due to the fact that everyone is back at work after a blissful break surrounded by family and friends. If you’re feeling down in the dumps today, surround yourself with your loved ones. Invite a friend over for dinner, cook a healthy meal for your partner, or give a member of your family a call. Contact with your nearest and dearest is sure to give your mood a boost.
Get your heart pumping
It may be the last thing you fancy if you’re feeling miserable or irritable, but if you push through and get your heart pumping in the gym you’ll feel a million times better. Exercise releases loads of happy endorphins into your body which are clinically proven to make you feel more positive. It’s certainly worth a try.
Cook a healthy meal
Fuelling your body with the right nutrients in January is essential to ward off any colds and help you feel your best. If you’re anything like me then you’ve eaten enough cheese and drunk enough wine to sink a ship in December, so it’s time for a bit of a health kick. A wholesome meal will give you the energy you need to tackle tomorrow head on.
Put on your favourite album
If you’re feeling grumpy and fed up music can be a wonderful therapy. Put on your favourite album, light a candle and indulge in the cosy winter night. You’re bank account may be in the red and a break from work may seem like a long way off, but life is about enjoying the small things as well as the more momentous ones. Music is one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.
Have a hot bath
Talking of simple pleasures… personally I can think of nothing better than running a hot bubble bath, grabbing a good book and a glass of wine and relaxing for an hour. Indulging in some guilt free me time will help you shake the January blues.
Do something creative
A recent study revealed that creativity is linked to happiness. It’s also a great way of distracting yourself from the things playing on your mind, be it politics, money, work or family pressures. From knitting to baking a cake; drawing to learning a new language, doing something that gets your creative muscle working is bound to make you feel better.
Start something you’ve been meaning to start for a while
Do you have a book you’ve been meaning to read, a business plan you’ve been meaning to write, or a shelf you’ve been meaning to put up? If the answer is ‘yes’ then today is probably a good day to start. A sense of accomplishment is great for making you feel energised and proactive.
Book a mini-break
Having something to look forward to in the diary is a great way of getting you through the rough days – bank balance permitting book a weekend away to explore somewhere new or try something different. If a trip abroad is a little out of reach this January, get a date in the diary to be a tourist in your home town; plan an itinerary and explore the local parks, museums and local landmarks. Doing different refreshes the brain and changes your perspective for a day.
Clutter weighs us down and January is a brilliant time to have a good sort out. From your wardrobe to your kitchen cupboards go from room to room and get rid of the things you don’t need, giving to charity anything that could be re-used by someone else. Living a more simple, frugal and balanced life is important for overall health and wellbeing.
Get a good night’s sleep
Nobody can run on empty so it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good seven to nine hours sleep each night. Plenty of shut eye will ensure you’re ready to face tomorrow head on.