Updated: Jan 19, 2021
If you are feeling down at this time of year now that the holiday season is over, know you are not alone.
The New Year always brings a new hope that we can restart and reset. However, in reality life doesn’t stop on 31st December for our vision and goals to magically kick start on 1st January; and it feels like the 13th month of 2020. This is the dreaded “January Blues” that many of us face. The January blues are different to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), they are more of a situational depression, associated with how we feel. SAD is a mood disorder where depression is felt seasonally and is believed to be linked to lack of sunlight.
Today is Blue Monday - the most depressing of January’s days which falls on the third Monday of the month. In 2005, the company Sky Travel coined the phrase after using an equation to analyse when people are most likely to book a holiday. This equation was drawn up by factoring in the weather, debt levels, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failing New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action.
Here are a few tips that could help you cope this month:
1. Keep active
Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues. Read more about walking to get fit.
2. Get outside
Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.
3. Eat healthily
A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Read more about healthy eating.
4. Take up a new hobby
Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD. So, why not join one of our interactive online painting events and unleash your creativity.
Please remember that if you are feeling low and you’re really struggling, it is important to seek professional medical advice from your GP or a mental health charity. Please be kind to yourself and know that you’re not alone.