Blue Monday

Blue Monday

Blue Monday

‘Blue Monday’ is the name given to the Monday that falls in the last full week of January. It’s been suggested this particular day is the most depressing of the year.

However, research shows that it’s not the actual day that gets people down and makes them feel gloomy but simply the shorter days and less sunlight we have in January and throughout the winter months.

If people do find themselves feeling low during the winter months, there are a number of steps that they can take to improve how they feel:

Exercise

Exercise not only helps boost your energy levels and immune system, but it also causes the brain to release endorphins – naturally occurring chemicals that make us feel happier. If it’s too cold to exercise outside, indoor exercise such as going swimming or taking the stairs instead of the lift can be just as good for you.

Find out more about how exercise affects your mental health.

Listen or download Mental Health Foundation’s special exercise podcast that will teach you some techniques to help you create and stick to a programme of regular exercise

Eat well

Exercise not only helps boost your energy levels and immune system, but it also causes the brain to release endorphins – naturally occurring chemicals that make us feel happier. If it’s too cold to exercise outside, indoor exercise such as going swimming or taking the stairs instead of the lift can be just as good for you.

Find out more about how exercise affects your mental health.

Listen or download Mental Health Foundation’s special exercise podcast that will teach you some techniques to help you create and stick to a programme of regular exercise

Be sociable

It can be tempting to stay tucked up at home when it’s cold outside, but being cut off from friends or family, or not having a social support network, can worsen your mood. Remember, however, that this requires more than just keeping in touch by email or Facebook. Face-to-face human contact prompts certain physiological responses in the brain that benefit our mental health in a way that technology-based contact doesn’t. While technology can help us keep in touch, it is no replacement for actually seeing our friends or family.

Find out more about keeping and touch – Plan to Protect: Connect

Join an interest/activity group

Joining a local sports club or a leisure group is a great way to meet some new people and to have regular contact with people who share similar interests or hobbies.

Join a support group

Your GP, local library or local HSE office may be able to put you in contact with local support groups, where you can get advice and support from others who have gone through similar experiences.

Set yourself realitsic goals - especially at new year

Lots of people set themselves New Year’s resolutions in January but many fall at the first hurdle which can demotivate them and impact on their emotional wellbeing. To help people achieve their resolutions, try Mental Health Foundations two podcasts focusing on the most popular New Years’ resolutions.

Get professional help

It can be particularly difficult during winter months for those who suffer from the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that affects approximately 7 per cent of the British population between the months of September and April. It can be particularly severe during December, January and February. If your symptoms are so bad that you it impacts your day to day life, see your GP who can offer advice and prescribe from a range of talking therapies or medication if required.

Plan to protect your mental health and wellbeing:

Connect

Be active

Take notice

Keep learning

Give