10 Ways to Beat Blue Monday


The third Monday of the year, is apparently the most depressing day of the year and for this reason the day has been labelled 'Blue Monday'. The weather is miserable, credit card bills from Christmas have arrived and the summer holidays are months away. In light of this, it’s no wonder we might feel a little bit blue!

These negative emotions we may feel can prevent our brain from seeing the other options and choices around us. The fact the day is even called ‘Blue Monday’ probably doesn’t help us as we may immediately feel low because of the negative focus it has. 

So, let's erase any negative thoughts and stay positive so we get the best out of ourselves and others. To help you beat 'Blue Monday' and take charge of the New Year, here are 10 top tips to follow:

1) Make a list

List all the good things in your life and the people you are grateful to know. Often just being more content with what you have rather than what you don’t have will make you feel better.  Research also shows taking time to appreciate your life makes you feel more optimistic and energetic. 

2) Take some exercise

Exercise will boost your endorphins and will make you feel calmer and happier. The NHS recommends that you should do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week (that’s 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week) and this will help to boost self-esteem, mood and decrease your risk of stress and depression.

3) Get some natural light

Natural light helps stabilise your serotonin and triggers your endorphins which will boost your mood. You could swap staff room visits for a quick 10-minute walk around the school grounds to fit this into your day and you’ll get some exercise too!

4) Have something to look forward to

Planning a holiday, weekend away or day out will give you something to focus on and give you a boost.

5) Be greener

You can help protect the environment for future generations by car sharing to work, taking public transport, and switching to energy efficient light bulbs (just to name a few). You can find more simple ways to go 'Green' here

6) Take charge of your finances

It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand with your finances, especially if you have overspent in the run up to Christmas but it’s best to tackle this head on. You can find excellent advice and money saving tips via MoneySavingExpert.

7) Smile

By smiling you release ‘feel-good chemicals’ in your brain, your blood pressure reduces and you feel more relaxed. Smiling is also contagious and makes others replicate your smile and feel better too. So turn that frown upside down and your colleagues may thank you for it!

8) Give to charity

A small donation to a charitable cause close to your heart will not only help those in need but will provide you with some happiness and reassurance for supporting those less fortunate. 

9) Get some shut eye 

Aim to have around 8 hours sleep a night and ensure you follow a similar routine daily where you go to bed and wake up at the same time. If you are having trouble sleeping you can find some tips to improve your sleep on our recent blog post "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?".

10) Stay positive

"Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it", Dennis P Kimbro.  Change your state of mind to a more positive one. By waking up each day with a better outlook on life, this will help you make the best out of a bad situation and enjoy the days that count. 

Let us know how you get on following the above tips and we wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling year ahead.

Want to practice mindfulness to beat the blues? Read how Rebecca and Wing got on in Mindfulness, Skills for Life Training. 

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