The third Monday in January is said to be the most depressing day of the year.
Why is this the case?
It is claimed by psychologists that by this time in January people are feeling disgruntled because the cost of Christmas is catching up with them. All those gifts that were purchased on credit card now need paying off; the mornings are still dark, the evenings are still drawing in early and many of us have fallen off the wagon regarding our good intentions and new year’s resolutions.
How can we combat this?
First of all it is important to recognise that it is natural to have feelings of disappointment at certain points in our life. These sentiments can be turned into a positive if we respond to them by examining what we are disappointed about. Asking ourselves if this emotion is a temporary experience and therefore acknowledging that “this too shall pass”, can be helpful for keeping a perspective on our lives. Having days where we might feel a bit flat living in the mundane help us appreciate the days when we are doing something uplifting and a bit different. If we realise our dissatisfaction is more than a fleeting emotion then we can ask ourselves if we need to take action to alleviate it. What steps can we take to do this? By taking a more proactive step to address our feelings can be empowering and uplifting in itself.
In order to do this effectively it is important to make sure we are emotionally, physically and mentally balanced. The way we talk to ourselves is important. Shed the guilt. It is ok to feel blue. It is ok to no longer be following your resolutions. There is always tomorrow, a new day and a fresh start. Take the pressure off today. If you feel like taking it easy (and you are not at work) then do so. If you can’t take it easy due to commitments make sure you do something for you as soon you are able to do so.
Instead of focusing on perceived failures and things you should have done, take time everyday doing something that you enjoy that releases endorphins and makes you feel happy. This is the best way to beat the blues. If you have had a hard day at work sing along to your favourite song in the car on the way home, listen to a comedy and laugh. Phone a friend and connect with them. Engaging with another person through having a laugh and a light hearted conversation can be a great distraction and release endorphins. Dance round the kitchen whilst making dinner, meditate, have a bath and enjoy the luxury of the warm water relaxing your muscles and washing away your stresses of the day. Have a regular massage or beauty treatment to feel good and reward yourself for being you. Walk in nature and look for the evidence that Spring is on its way and warmer days are approaching.
So instead of focusing on the negatives, what are you going to do today to hold Blue Monday at bay? I am going to phone a friend.