Beating Blue Monday 2023

The third Monday of January each year has been given the name ‘Blue Monday’ and it is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. Whilst the research behind this is questionable, many people do feel lacking in motivation at this time of the year. Perhaps it’s a combination of factors; the Winter weather, Christmas behind us, and the Summer seemingly so far away.

Some people may be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often displaying the key symptoms of depression, sleep problems, tiredness, irritability, and weight gain through eating more. There is some good news though a few changes in our lives can often help us feel better.

Activity

Try to be active. This can be especially effective if we schedule it with getting outside into the daylight. Perhaps a walk or similar activity at lunchtime?

Light

Some people find that they can’t get enough daylight at this time of the year, so choose to use a light box at home to supplement what light they are getting.

Nutrition

A healthy diet is good for our body and also our mind. Eating a well-balanced diet will give us energy, help control our weight and make us feel better. Read our recent blog.

Socialising

Seeing our friends, families and other people is good for our mental health and can help ward off winter blues. Make that effort to keep in touch with people, go to events, and make that first move.

Hobbies

Keep your mind active. What about a new hobby or interest or picking up on an old one? Maybe joining a choir, getting that knitting out, or maybe resurrecting that interest in stamps? I have followed my own advice by retrieving my old telescope from the garage. I have used the cold clear nights to resume my interest in astronomy! The list of hobbies and interests is virtually endless. Select what appeals to and is accessible for you. The benefits these pastimes provide are; they give us something to look forward to, keep our minds and bodies active, can open up social networks, and provide ongoing pathways of development.

 

Seemingly small changes can make big differences and planning a series of lunchtime walks could provide you with exercise, access to daylight, and fulfil social aspects if you can arrange to do it with others or meet people to speak to along the way. The biggest challenge can often be getting started, so set yourself a target date and stick to it. Keeping a journal can keep you on track and show what you have achieved.

Some people, however, may need the professional support that Teladoc Health can provide. Reaching out gives access to medical professionals, GPs, nutritionists, and mental health professionals. This support can be beneficial in terms of early intervention or assist in rapid recovery.

Author: Colin Preece, Clinical Lead Psychologist, Teladoc Health

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