It’s that time of the year again. Today is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Christmas is a long forgotten memory, while payday still seems a long way ahead. It’s cold, you’re miserable, and those diet resolutions you made in good faith back on the 1st are now making your stomach rumble.
Originally coined by a PR Firm 13 years ago, Blue Monday seems to have slipped into common vernacular, however mental health charities warn that Blue Monday trivialises depression, with Mind’s Head of Information commenting that ‘Depression is not just a one day event’.
However, it really is that case that the factors mentioned above can spiral into feeling down at this time of year. So what can those who do feel down at this time of year do to try and beat those winter blues.
- Get Outside
As the temperatures drop, it can tempting to stay indoors wrapped up warm, however the lack of sunlight in the winter can contribute to feeling down. The NHS suggests trying to take a one hour walk in the middle of the day when it’s brightest outside.
- Eat Well
While it’s easy to eat up salads and light meals during the summer, our natural inclination during the winter is to turn to stodgy comfort food. Eating healthy will help to boost mood and allow you more energy. Try to balance your diet by eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Try Light Therapy
While getting out in the natural daylight is always the best option, many of those who suffer with seasonal depression have seen boosts from using lightboxes – electric devices that simulate natural daylight.
- Keep Both Mind and Body Active
In the depths of winter, many people find themselves less active – just sitting in front of a TV or computer screen indoors. Try and keep as active as possible. Get out and see friends and family, or perhaps take up a new hobby. By keeping both your mind and body active, you can help to boost your mood.
- Seek Help
Whether a support group, a phone line, or going to see your GP – depression is a serious illness that can have a heavy impact on your life. If your symptoms are interfering with your ability to live normally, speak to you GP, or contact MIND.