With ‘Blue Monday’ upon us once again, it no longer feels quite like the season to be jolly. There is a real lull that is felt after Christmas and the risks of sadness, and even depression, are very real. ‘Blue Monday’ aside, January is often a time when we reflect and take stock of our lives. While this is essential so that we can move forward, without adding in some self-care, it can have a serious impact on our mental health. Let’s take a look at some fun ways to beat these blues and take care of our mental well-being. Go in search of the sun Taking a trip is a great way to give yourself a boost. What can make a trip even more beneficial, when it comes to self-care, is looking for a location where you can soak up some sun. The fact that sunlight helps us to create vitamin D means it can give us a real boost when it comes to our mood. Of course, financial worries in January are very real, and the thought of spending on a trip may not be great for mental well-being. The good news is that, even if money is tight, just researching a possible trip for the future can help our mood. Get warmed up! Feeling cold is never great! When we’re already experiencing a low mood, being cold is the last thing that we want on top of this. Warmth is a natural comfort to us, so finding ways of staying warm are great in terms of self-care. Of course, we’ve all seen the news and are slightly fearful of energy prices, but there are other ways to keep ourselves warm that don’t involve cranking the heating up: • Enjoy a luxurious hot chocolate and some marshmallows • Cuddle up under your favourite snuggly blanket • Even better, cuddle under that blanket with your favourite someone Did you know that just touching something warm can help our mood?
Get moving Research shows that getting moving is great for our mental wellbeing, and is a great way to combat depression. You don’t need to go mad and become exercise obsessed: regular, gentle, exercise still has some great effects. When you’re moving and getting your heart rate going, you’re releasing endorphins. It is these endorphins that give you the happiness boost that helps to do away with the January blues. Doctors have even started to prescribe exercise over medication in recent times. Get social Forget social media: get up, get out, and meet with friends. As humans, we are social creatures. We need human contact and interaction. Social media doesn’t really give us this. Instead, it shows others acting as though their lives are perfect which bring us down even further. Real-life socialising is what we all need. Meeting up and doing something fun is a great way to take care of your mental health. What you decide to do is up to you but get back to living and get away from your screens for a while. So, there you have it. 4 easy ways to ease out from under January's blue clouds and perhaps make it a bit more colourful!