Sunday, January 15, 2017
It's no secret that January is considered a dreary month - and with the excitement of Christmas over, the cold weather, and shorter days it is easy to understand why. In fact, it's considered to be such a disappointing time that the term 'Blue Monday' was coined.
Statistics suggest that Monday 16th January or 'Blue Monday' is in fact the most depressing day of the year, with the culmination of after-Christmas debt and weather conditions being some of the key driving factors.
Of course, whilst this is just one day, many of us suffer from low mood and additional stress and anxiety on a longer term basis, with feelings being amplified at this time of year.
We've taken a look at five tips that might help to improve your mental well-being throughout January, and the rest of 2017.
1. Light activity and exercise helps - Being active can sometimes feel like the last thing you want to be doing, especially considering the cold weather when you would much rather be curled up in the warmth. But being active throughout the day can really help! Gentle exercise, such as an half hour walk, can do wonders for uplifting your mood.
2. Make the most of the daylight - The short days and dark nights can be a huge part of those winter blues surfacing. Be sure to make the most of the daylight we do have - if you are at work during the day go for a short walk on your lunch break and make the most of the midday sunlight!
3. Try yoga or other mindfulness exercises - If you have a lot of worries on your mind why not try adopting yoga as a new hobby, or try exercises such as meditation. These types of exercise can help to put your thoughts and feelings into perspective, and allow you to take a moment to relax and reflect, ultimately making you feel better.
4. Eat healthily - Low mood can also be attributed with lack of energy and tiredness. Put a spring back in your step by improving your diet, include both carbohydrates, such as pasta, with plenty of fruit and vegetables to increase your energy levels, making you more active.
5. Talk it out with friends or a professional - Socialising can do wonders for improving your mood, but sometimes it is not enough and it can be beneficial to talk to a professional, such as a counsellor or your GP. There are many local services available for treatments, ranging from cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to counselling or psychotherapy. Find out what is available to you here.