January 13, 2023

Blue Monday

Blue Monday

Tips to help support for Blue Monday

January. It’s a funny old month. The dazzling twinkle of Christmas lights have gone, and, in their place, we face those dark, short winter days. There are expectations of new beginnings and fresh starts. And while we welcome any opportunity to recalibrate, for some of us, January brings with it a pressure that can feel more than just a little overwhelming, especially when the weather is at its worst. That’s where Blue Monday comes into play.

Falling each year on the third Monday in January, we are here to keep the new year blues at bay and to share the essential message of maintaining good mental health and taking the necessary actions to ensure this.

Blue Monday

Five practical tips to help you through Blue Monday

1. Share the burden

January. Regardless of what it may feel like, sharing the burden doesn’t turn you into one.

It might be that someone can’t truly understand how it feels to be you, but they may be able to show you empathy and support. They can stand alongside you, so you’re not alone in it. You can speak to a professional or someone in your life who has been historically kind and supportive.

2. Mix up your routine

Monotony can sometimes leave us feeling sluggish, so we suggest mixing up your routine in a small way.

Whether it’s listening to an uplifting podcast, exploring a new area or joining a new exercise class with a friend, mixing up your routine can feel energising.

3. Write a list of 10 things you’re grateful for

While gratitude can’t fix everything, it can help us draw attention to the good things.Whether it’s a friend or family member, a special memory or a family pet that you are grateful for, see what happens to your mood as you jot things down.

4. Tick something off your to-do list

When we’re feeling blue, we may feel drained of energy and motivation. Ticking off items from our to-do list is one way round this as we get a kick and a boost out of feeling accomplished.

Choose one small thing on your to-do list, such as sorting out that overflowing cupboard. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that will follow and let it spur you on to the next thing.

5. Do a good deed

We can get a lovely hit of mood-boosting dopamine when we help others.

Why not see how you can share a skill or an hour to help someone around you? Their gratitude will make you feel appreciated and helpful, which can feel really good when we feel a bit low and stuck.

Blue Monday

Did you know?

There is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a form of depression that may manifest in certain seasons. However, this is not a condition that lasts for 24 hours only. Symptoms of SAD can include irritability, persistent low mood and feelings of worthlessness and affects around two million people in the UK.

How can you support someone else feeling down?

It can be really tough when we see someone, we care about feeling low. Depending on the relationship you have, it might be nice to invite them to do something you know benefits them or something they have previously enjoyed. Sometimes it feels a little easier, and less intense, to open up to one another when the prime focus is on something else.

And if someone feels closed-off or distant?

Check in about things that are entirely disconnected. This will keep the lines of communication open, even if it doesn’t feel hugely reciprocated for a while.

If you’re feeling low in January, it’s totally normal, but trying some of the recommended steps may help you feel a little lighter.

And if you’re really struggling?

If the fleeting grey clouds that come with feeling blue feel hard to shift or oppressive and suffocating, then speak to your GP or read Boots’ 10 mental health resources that can help if you’re struggling.

You might also find Boots’ guide to seasonal affective disorder provides some useful advice, too.