“How does it feel”, the first words of the 1983 New Order hit Blue Monday. For many on Blue Monday – the third Monday in January, which is recognised to be one of the most depressing days of the year – it feels pretty grim. It’s raining, cold and windy. The festive season is a dim and distant memory, and dark mornings stretch in front of us for weeks ahead.
While Blue Monday is scientifically debatable, it is certainly true that our Thinkaction mental health services in Addaction tend to see more referrals in January, typically a 5-10% increase from the average across the year. We know that for some people feelings of low mood and depression can worsen in the winter months.
We rely on our staff teams to be well and healthy too. It is important for us all to maintain our energy levels, manage our relationships, and tap into our skills and interests in order to make the most of life.
So if Blue Monday feels like it might exist for you, then here are some things you can try to make this Monday a bit less blue.
- Spend some time with your friends and family.
- Try to reintroduce activities that you enjoyed in the past, including exercise.
- Try to get outside during daylight hours.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet as low mood or anxiety can change your eating patterns. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’ve gained weight over the autumn and winter as this is pretty common.
- Avoid the temptation of regularly drinking alcohol as it tends to make depression worse.
- Get more sleep and learn a relaxation technique that works for you (e.g. yoga, tai chi or listening to a relaxation CD).
- Get some help for practical issues such as money management or debt, and use talking therapies if you are suffering with depression or anxiety.
You can call Thinkaction on 0300 012 0012 or speak to your GP. We also have online therapy available: http://www.thinkaction.org.uk/online-therapy/
The important thing to bear in mind is that it is okay to ask for help. Our treatment is confidential, designed specifically for you and is available outside of office hours if needed. New Order’s Blue Mondayends with “Tell me how do I feel, Tell me how should I feel”: if you want to talk, call us on 0300 012 0012.