Tips to combat Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year – The Sun | The Sun

Tips to combat Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year – The Sun | The Sun

BLUE Monday is dubbed the saddest day of the year, with many expected to feel emotional after the holidays.

In 2023, the day falls on January 16 – but don't worry, there are a number of ways to beat the blues.

What are the best tips to combat Blue Monday and give my mood a boost?

Blue Monday is calculated using a series of factors in a (not particularly scientific) mathematical formula.

These are the weather, debt level, the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year's resolutions, low motivational levels, and the feeling of needing to take charge of the situation.

It was originally conceived by a PR company in 2005 but has now become a widely recognised annual event.

Mental health charity Mind is derisive of the notion of Blue Monday, claiming the concept has no foundation in scientific research.

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A statement on their website says: "Here at Mind, we think it’s dangerously misleading.

"Those of us who live with depression know that those feelings aren’t dictated by the date.

"Implying that they are perpetuates the myth that depression is just 'feeling a bit down', something that doesn’t need to be taken seriously."

The Samaritans are also against the idea that one particular day is deemed the saddest of the year.

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In a bid to deter away from Blue Monday, the mental health charity has coined a new term – 'Brew Monday'.

On Brew Monday, individuals are encouraged to reach out to others over a cuppa and offer support, a listening ear, and someone there when needed.

Like Brew Monday, there are a number of ways to beat the blues and boost your mind.

Here's a look at just some of the things you can do.

1. Remember you are in control

First and foremost, it is important to remember that you are in control.

Blue Monday was determined by a PR firm and many companies play into the theme of January being a depressing month.

Keep reminding yourself that you have the power to change how you feel.

2. Get some sun

Take advantage of the sunshine, if you can.

Go for a walk on your lunch break or try a new outdoor activity to boost your vitamin D levels.

Even just a short 15-minute burst could have a real impact.

3. Exercise

Another way you can combat Blue Monday is to do some exercise.

Whether it is going for a run or taking a class at a gym, moving your body releases endorphins and can help boost your mood.

Personal trainer Andy Ward advises that exercise is a great tonic for feeling down, and it's best to avoid binge-eating and shunning your mates.

He said: "Squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise. It could be a fast walk, a light jog, a relaxing swim, or an intense HIIT class – just move for thirty minutes to feel the benefits.

"There are dozens of different fitness classes available. January is a great time to take up new hobbies and meet new people."

4. Watch a mood-boosting film

While it is easy for people to recommend fitness for making yourself feel good, sometimes that's the last thing you want to do.

Instead, why not try watching a feel-good film to make you smile.

Pick one of your favourites, or a classic you have never seen, and sit back and relax.

5. Read a self-care book

If you're not one for watching films or television, why not pick up a self-care book. These particular books are aimed at improving mental health and providing tips on how to manage anxiety, reduce stress, and feel happier and more at peace.

6. Listen to a podcast

Alternatively, you can pick up your phone, laptop, or tablet and tune in to a self-care podcast. There are a number of listening materials aimed at improving and managing your mental health.

7. Reach out

Finally, connect with people around you.

This could be giving to others in whatever way you feel – whether it's a smile, a "thank you", or a kind word.

However, if you are struggling with feelings of depression over a long period, you should speak to your doctor, or a trusted family member or friend.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123, or visit Mind’s website.

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