Whether you believe in Blue Monday or not, we can all do with a helping hand at feeling happier this month and throughout the year. With 1 in 4 of us in the UK experiencing mental health problems each year we’ve rounded up eight ways to boost your mood, from exercise, to laughing and sleeping.
Walking, it’s good for your physical health, your bank balance and your mental health. It’s thought that if you’re physically active then you have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed or if you are suffering then it can help relieve symptoms. Walk to work, walk along the Thames, head out to one of the parks or Hampstead Heath. If you’re in need of inspiration check out Walk London and Walk Unlimited, on the 3rd and 4th February they’ll be hosting a whole series of free Winter Wanders.
Winter Wanders takes place on the 3rd and 4th February
Listen to Some Music
Music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Get your uplifting playlist on the go, or go out and find some live music. Luckily, this week sees the start of monthly music nights at The Orange. Taking place in the Garden Atrium Bar, you can order in the pizzas and drinks and then listen to Lounge Blizzard, who’ll be playing jazz swing, country and pop.
Starts 17th January, runs monthly
Eat Comfort Food
You don’t need us to tell you that there is more to life than calories. Granted a healthy, balanced diet is going to keep you feeling at your best. But sometimes the comfort food cravings arrive and you don’t want to (or have to) ignore them. Check out our comfort food guide for the best places to get your carb fix. And to keep things balanced, check out our guide to boost your health this month.
Laughter is the Best Medicine
It’s clichéd but true, if you’re feeling down then laughter can help, admittedly sometimes it’s hard to laugh when payday feels years away, your heating has gone and you’ve given up sugar. If you’re in need of cheering up, then renowned acts from The Comedy Club will be providing an evening of sharp wit, quick ad-lib and topical mirth at the Sports Bar & Grill at The Sheraton Skyline Hotel, as they kick off their new monthly series of comedy nights at the hotel.
Starts 15th January, runs monthly
Get More Sleep
This one is a no brainer, if you want to feel better, get more sleep. We all know that lack of sleep makes us irritable, then we reach for more caffeine, which means we sleep less at night and then a vicious circle starts. Getting more sleep in our hectic lives is admittedly hard to do, but ME London is here to give a helping hand. Their new suite package Stay in Bed with ME, lets you check in from 00.01 on your day of reservation and to check out as late as 23:59 – so almost 48 hours for the price of a night. You can have an early night, a lie in and still have time for a couple of naps.
Try Something New
Getting stuck in a rut, is a sure -fired way to make you feel down, routine is good, but doing the same thing day after day, is boring, you feel like a hamster trapped in a wheel. So, shake things up, try a new workout, try something that you would never have thought of before. How about learning about lucid dreaming? Not sure what that is, it’s that state where reality seems warped when you’re in between sleeping and waking. The Book Club are hosting an evening with Guerilla Science where you can learn how to sink into your mind, discover more about yourself and control your dreamscape so you can choose what you dream about.
It’s not surprising that Calm was named Apple’s app of the year, we’re all in need of a little downtown. Rushing around London constantly is bound to get us run down, and when we’re run down our mood suffers. Yeotown Kitchen has recently opened in London, a café where both physical and mental health is at their core. They’ve got a Juice bar, Scratch Kitchen and a Meditation Station. Here you can recharge and relax in their meditation pods with their five minute guided meditations which include The Bravery Break – for a boost of courage and confidence (go pre-date or meeting), The Brain Break to soothe anxiety and gain better clarity and perspective, and The Beauty Break to encourage self -love.
Get the endorphins pumping, get rid of the toxins and sweat it out. Yes, when you’re feeling down, putting your trainers on and getting out of the house is anything but ideal, but as the saying goes you never regret a workout. Check out our guide to some of the most luxurious gyms in London, because exercising is always more fun when you can head to a state of the art spa after.