Blue Monday is said to be one of the most depressing days of the year, far enough into January to feel the post-Christmas comedown as well as the inevitable spending squeeze after the festivities. Combined with New Year’s resolutions already petering out and the cold weather making it harder to get out of bed in the morning, people’s moods tend to be lower than usual.
Though “Blue Monday” is a made-up term – started by an airline to push holiday sales – it does reflect the public mood, becoming the perfect excuse for checking in with your mental and physical health.
If you’re feeling the blues a little more than usual lately, here’s some ways to beat them:
Reframe your New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolutions are great to make at the time, filled with hope and optimism for the year ahead. Except most fall by the wayside the first week of January as the initial enthusiasm fades, soon replaced by the realisation that real effort must be made in order to make those resolutions a reality.
The first problem is this: most resolutions are too ambitious and idealistic. One way to undo this feeling of failure is to reframe your goals. For one, make them smaller. If your resolution is to cook more meals at home, set yourself the goal of cooking two new recipes per week. If you want a new job, dust off your CV and start considering your employment options.
Simply, make your goals practical and the steps manageable – and hold yourself accountable for making it happen!
There’s never been more emphasis on – and support for – mental health, with a big push on workplaces doing more to support employees. Blue Monday is the perfect excuse to practice self-care however you can during the day.
Stepping outside of the office for a walk at lunchtime could be the pick-me-up you need (both nature and exercise are proven tonics). Likewise, have a chat with a co-worker or text a friend to see how they’re doing. No matter what you’re feeling, it’s helpful to be reminded that you’re not alone.
Other practices include treating yourself to your favourite food, planning what to watch on TV that evening, getting into bed early. Food, sleep, exercise and feeling a sense of community are tried and tested ways of improving your positivity.
Self-care might seem like a buzzword, but it’s important to know what works for you on tough days to better look after your mental health.
Pay it forward
Another way to turn Blue Monday around is performing a simple act of kindness. It’s easy to get caught up in a slump, especially around this time of year, which is why doing something altruistic can have such an uplifting impact.
Send a nice text to a member of your family; pay a compliment to a stranger’s outfit; praise a co-worker for their hard work.
Big or small, efforts like these will bring you out of your own negative headspace, especially if your good deed has instant results. It might even be reciprocated!
It’s easy to get caught up in Blue Monday, especially if everyone around you is feeling that extra dosage of doom and gloom. However, a simple perspective shift is enough to make a difference and get you back on track.
Just like with your New Year’s resolutions, change your approach.
Rather than dwell on the negatives, like feeling the pinch until pay day, focus instead on what you’re lining up for the year ahead: holidays, meeting up with friends, the show you’re looking forward to watching.
It’s more productive and rewarding to seek the benefits in “bad” situations.
January is tough for most people where their finances are concerned, but it’s a great opportunity to sit down and consider your budget for the year. View it as an opportunity to start implementing good habits, like keeping track of your monthly spends.
If you apply this way of thinking to other areas of your life, over time it will become a good habit and prevent your “blues” from escalating.
If your job is contributing to the ultimate Blue Monday feeling, then take this opportunity to update your CV and begin the job search. A lot of people see January as a chance to reevaluate their position and set work goals for the year ahead, but few allocate the time and energy required for the task once daily life resumes. Take Blue Monday as a turning point for assessing your career. If a new job is on the horizon, start by finding your CV, looking it over, and updating your skills.
Better yet, get in touch with our team at NRG to discuss your options. Our specialist recruiters will help you make the next step in your career.