It’s official. It’s the most depressing day of the year this Monday. We’re not quite sure who named it Blue Monday, but we’re definitely feeling the short winter days, tiresomely long nights and juggling an ongoing economic crisis.
But we promise there are things we can be cheery about – the nights are slowly getting shorter with 7pm sunset around the corner and it’s not completely freezing.
If that doesn’t lift your spirits a little, we have a few motivating tips and ways to put a smile on your face.
Tips to get you through Blue Monday
1. Make A List Of All The Things You’re Grateful For
Pick up a pen and paper and jot down all the things you are grateful for. While it sounds trite, it actually works. It keeps your mind focused, de-stresses and generally provides a whole heap of optimism.
2. Do A Good Deed
One thing that can make you feel better is by helping someone else feel better. Apparently, the act of giving stimulates the same parts of the brain as food and sex. Invest some of your energy in supporting a charity through donations or your time, volunteering for the NHS, helping someone out at work, or simply chatting to a relative or friend who might be lonely.
3. Download These Mindfulness Apps
While too much time on your phone can make your brain stale, there are plenty of apps out there that can boost your wellbeing through chants, mediation, happy quotes and smile-inducing reminders. Try some of these wellness apps to get you going.
4. Step Outside
A mere 20 minutes amongst nature (yes, London parks count) can help boost your mood according to research in Scientific Reports. Taking in the fresh air and the organic beauty around us can lower stress hormone levels and boost self-esteem. Plus, any time in the daylight will help boost your depleted vitamin D resources. The Journal of Internal Medicine found that it helped people combat depression. Help yourself along the way and order a vitamin D supplement as a booster.
5. Tidy Up
Tidy house, tidy mind as they say. No idea who “they” are, but it makes sense to us. A bed piled high with dirty knickers and filthy plates is not going to make you feel better (although it might turn you into the next Tracey Emin). This Blue Monday try tackling a few areas of your home and reap the benefits of a happy mind and clean space.
Exercise has a richly a profound effect on our overall happiness and wellbeing, so much so that it’s scientifically proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. We’ve harped on a lot about exercise this month with everything from fitness trends to look out for in 2023 to the best activewear, luxury London gyms to tips from fitness influencers.
“Omms” and “ahhhs” may make you feel stupid but the sounds you release during a meditative session send vibrations around the body. It gives focus to mind, body and soul and is generally just super relaxing.
8. Listen To These Mood-Boosting Playlists
Do you know what is not scientifically proven, but is tried and tested by The Handbook? Dancing in your underwear to a feel-good playlist first thing in the morning. Really, try it. It’s very liberating. And if you can’t find the right tunes to wiggle to, we’ve made you a helpful motivational playlist.
9. Book A Holiday
Yes, we know, all flights suspended until further notice. However… nothing’s stopping you from booking something for the end of the year or even 2024. Dream of lying on the beach in the Seychelles, sipping bubbles in Champagne or cruising down the Amazon and then making it a reality but getting online and making the most of some of the great deals out there. Check out our Travel Section for inspo.
10. Turn Off Social Media
Turn off your apps now. No TikTok, no Instagram, no Facebook, and no Twitter. So don’t look. It’s quite a good one to implement this Blue Monday too. Simply, turn off your notifications and focus on yourself.
11. Fake Laugh
Have you ever tried fake laughing until you laugh for real? Trust us, it’s a thing. Laughter has many benefits and even simulating it can help bring them about. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen which stimulates your organs and increases endorphins. A good hearty chuckle can also relieve stress. So whether you need a stand-up comedian to get you going or want to fake it at your desk, give giggling a go.