Starting to feel the pinch after an expensive Christmas? Have the holiday revels left you feeling unhealthy? Or maybe the winter weather that we’ve been experiencing lately is leaving you with a gloomy feeling? If so, you will be unsurprised to hear that Monday 16 January marks Blue Monday – reportedly the most ‘depressing’ day of the year.
Having a low mood can occur for a variety of reasons – there is no single cause. For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause. The worries we often face after Christmas such as financial pressures, low levels of activity and low motivation levels, can be triggers too.
But what can you do to beat the Monday Blues?
Evidence suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. Give them a try – you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life.
- Connect – connect with the people around you: your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Spend time developing these relationships.
- Be active – you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, go cycling or play a game of football. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life.
- Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?
- Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
- Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.
If your low mood persists or is something you no longer feel you can manage, please seek support from your GP or self-refer to our Talking Mental Health Derbyshire service.
The Samaritans provide a free, 24/7 confidential listening service. Whatever you’re going through, you can call the helpline on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.samaritans.org.uk for details about the Samaritans.