Blue Monday (this year Monday 20th January) is supposedly the most depressing day of the year!
Originally promoted as part of a publicity campaign for a travel company, it has no scientific basis, but has been given credence because of factors which link its post-festive position to things which might adversely affect your mood. Its proximity to when credit card bills arrive after excessive festive spending, fewer hours of daylight, seasonal weather, the point at which New Year's Resolutions are starting to slip and other such explanations may actually induce negative feelings, which otherwise would not have arisen.
However, as Monday is traditionally the day of the week when most people seek help for their problems after weekend contemplation, it also offers an opportunity to focus on things which might help to lift your spirits.
Here are some ideas to help improve your mood...
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
exercise and the right diet can produce endorphins which will make you feel happier and by avoiding depressants like alcohol, drugs and junk food, positive changes like increasing your vitamin intake and getting a good night's sleep can bring about surprising results.
Plan to make changes
if you feel you are stuck in a rut, this can cause a downward spiral of feelings. Focus on what you want to be different and create an action plan of simple steps that you can take to facilitate change. Remember to focus on one things at a time and set realistic deadlines. Review regularly and congratulate yourself for any progress made.
Have something to look forward to
whether it's your next holiday or just making sure you have something to do on a Saturday night, full your life with things you enjoy doing and give yourself time to get excited about forthcoming events.
taking a few extra minutes to style your hair of have a soak in the bath can really boost your self esteem. Wear your best outfit for work or to go shopping, whatever makes you look or feel good will really lift your mood.
there are many different ways to meditate but even if you don't know any of them, just slowing down your breathing and focussing on it will relax you. Count your breaths in and out, trying to increase by one each time, from four to ten.
Use humour to give your a temporary lift
smiling actually makes you feel happier, so phone a friend who makes you laugh or put on your favourite comedy DVD.
if the news is full of tragic events and you are surrounded by people complaining about their lot, this can bring you down. If you can't use the problems and negativity of others to count your blessings, avoid them altogether. Have a day off from reading the newspaper, go for a walk, do a good deed, read or listen to music instead.
If you just can't shake the blues, talking about it just might help. If you can't find a sympathetic friend or you feel you need a more professional approach, get independent help. There are many different solutions on offer, but if you think that counselling might be for you, whatever the time of year, contact us and speak to a qualified counsellor.
Counselling in Cambridge - 01223 233047
Counselling in Peterborough - 01733 553166