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What is Blue Monday?
Monday 17 January 2022 is Blue Monday. So, what is Blue Monday? The idea was drawn up as a PR stunt for Sky Travel by Psychologist Cliff Arnall. Arnall used a formula to calculate the gloomiest day of the year and his conclusion is that it falls on the third Monday in January.
Although the original concept may have been dreamt up as a marketing gimmick to sell more holidays, it helpfully raises awareness in the importance of maintaining good mental health. There is type of depression known as Seasonal Defective Disorder (SAD) or “winter blues”. The exact causes of SAD are unknown, but it is considered the lack of exposure to sunlight affects the bodies internal chemistry.
What are the signs of SAD?
- Trouble Sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling low
- Loss of interest
- Reduced energy levels
- Weight gain or loss.
- Comfort eating
There are several treatments for SAD including light therapy, medication, cognitive behaviour therapy etc. It is important to consult with your GP for the relevant treatment.
Hints and Tips for overcoming Blue Monday
Even for those who don’t have a condition such as SAD the last two years have been hard on everyone’s mental health. Below are some hints and tips for overcoming Blue Monday.
- Don’t give up on your New Year’s Resolutions. You may have committed to Dry January or Veganuary and had a blip but don’t be hard on yourself.
- Don’t hibernate. It is easy to stay home during the cold winter months however it is important to get outside get fresh air and see sunlight.
- Exercise – you don’t have to run a marathon just go for a walk.
- Be social. Over the last two years we have been reminded about social distancing. Being with friends and family and socialising is good for positive mental health. Just remember to be safe and follow Coronavirus guidance.
- Make time for yourself. We all have demands on us either work or family but remember to take time for yourself.
- Set yourself small goals to achieve either work, personal or social. A sense of achievement positive for your mental health.
- Finally, remember to smile as it is proven to reduce stress. It elevates mood and is contagious.