THE third Monday of the year, known as Blue Monday, is the most depressing day in the calendar due to a number of factors: poor weather, dark evenings and festivities being over. Here, the Charlie Watkins Foundation discusses how to beat the blues on Blue Monday and throughout January.
It is natural to feel a little offbeat in winter because bad weather and shorter days can have a real impact on our mood. We’ve all heard of the ‘January blues’ since not only is it the middle of winter, but in January the festivities are over, the decorations have been packed away and the excitement of giving and receiving gifts has passed.
However, there are lots of small things we can do to beat those blues and make Blue Monday and the month of January a bit brighter.
- Organise a meet-up with friends and family. People tend to have fewer plans in January so it is often therapeutic to arrange something for you all to look forward to. It also gives you all the opportunity to talk and open up about any anxieties you may have about the coming year
- Take a day to yourself. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life in this day and age. So, plan a day for yourself and do something you love, whether that’s heading to the cinema, doing some knitting, writing, painting, picking something that you enjoy or a new activity you would like to try.
- Do some exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as the happiness hormones, so just 20 minutes of light exercise can make all the difference to your day. Go for a run, use an exercise bike or follow a yoga video on YouTube – whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
- Do some form of self-care. This could be anything from cooking your favourite meal, taking a long, relaxing bath, calling someone you love for a chat or heading out into nature for a walk.
Consider January as the month to plan out how you view the rest of your year and start making small changes to look after you.
Whatever the time of year, if you or someone you know is struggling with feeling low or depressed then the best thing to do is to seek help. Whether that is reaching out to family or friends, making a GP appointment or approaching a mental health charity.
We are so grateful for all those who help us raise funding for our vital projects which help young people across the UK who are facing serious mental health challenges.
If you would like to donate to the Charlie Watkins Foundation, please do this through our JustGiving page.