Almost everyone dreads the third Monday in January - Blue Monday as it's notoriously called. Read on to find out why having the blues is so typical of this day and how to survive it.
Cliff Arnall, a university professor, coined the term "Blue Monday". He attributed this 'sad feeling in winter' to lack of motivation, bad weather, and broken New Year's resolutions at the beginning of the year. However, the actual cause of Blue Monday is shorter days in January. As the days become shorter, there is a lack of daylight. Not having enough light suppresses your serotonin, the hormone responsible for your mood and melatonin levels (which also affects your sleep).
7. CHANGE YOUR DIET
Diet is very key to beating winter melancholy. Swap up a calorie-rich diet for one rich in vitamins. You can do this by having some water and lemon in the morning to give your body a healthy dose of vitamin C. Also, add some nuts and seeds to your salads to get vitamin E. Plus, eat more leafy greens and fatty fish to up your vitamins B12, D3 and fish oil levels. Lastly, you want to add turmeric and green tea to your diet.
6. SHOW GRATITUDE
Sometimes a change in mindset is all you need to stay sane during Blue Monday. You can shut out all the negativity by focusing on something positive. Writing down what you are thankful for every day can help you practice positive thinking.
5. UP YOUR VITAMIN D INTAKE
Take supplements to up your vitamin D levels. The 'sunshine pill' gives you energy. Unfortunately, during the winter months, we get less vitamin D because there is a lack of sunlight. Additionally, you can eat more fatty fish like salmon, and eggs, which are rich in vitamin D3.
4. BE ACTIVE
Physical inactivity can worsen your mood swings, so don't be a couch potato. Get moving, even if it's just for a few hours, and you'll be surprised how much that perks you up. And you don't have to engage in an intensive workout to shake off the blues. It can be a light activity like taking a walk or having a yoga session.
3. GET SOME SUNLIGHT
Lack of sunlight is one of the causes of a depressing mood on Blue Monday (needless to say!). Make it a habit to get exposed to a few hours of sunlight every day. You can take a morning walk or go shopping. Grab any opportunity to get outside. Instead, you can also try light therapy to pique your serotonin and melatonin.
Mornings are the best times to do light therapy.
2. SLEEP ENOUGH
Having enough shut-eye per day is what you need to sail through Blue Monday. You need a minimum of seven hours of sleep every day. In addition, you need to adjust your daily schedule, so you have regular bedtimes at night and on weekends. Get rid of anything that will interrupt your sleep - switch off your mobile phone, turn off the lights, etc.
Instead of grumbling about the situation, embrace it fully. Accept that it will be dark and cold for a while and make the most of it. One way you can do this is to spend quality time at home with your family and friends. Blue Monday or the winter might be the perfect time to throw a party, go picnicking or build a snowman with the kids. The Danish call this lifestyle hygge, and it's one way they survive the cold winter months.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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