Dubbed ‘the most depressing day of the year’, the theory goes that Blue Monday is the third Monday in January when blues are at their peak. Experts say that the combination of the cold weather, empty bank accounts following Christmas celebrations and, the fact that it is a Monday, all take their toll on this specific day. Not forgetting that this year has started off with yet another lockdown, adding an extra tier to the doom and gloom.

If you are struggling with your blues this Blue Monday, here are some tips that might help boost your spirits today and helplines you can use throughout the year.

1. Exercise

An easy way to increase your mood is doing some gentle exercise. Whether it’s yoga, running, or an online Zumba class, exercise in any form can have a great effect on your mental health. It increases serotonin and endorphin levels which are natural mood boosters and can ease the effects of stress, anxiety and depression on your brain.

When many of us are feeling more stressed and miserable than usual, this might be what you need.

If exercise is difficult for you, try our seated yoga classes on YouTube.

2. Set yourself achievable goals

Finish some household chores you have been putting off, buy and put together some flatpack furniture, or clear out your wardrobe. Completing a list of easy to-do tasks can help clear your mind and give you a focused activity that can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. When you’re finished you will have achieved something that day even though you were feeling blue, and that is something you can be proud of.

3. Make plans

Give yourself something to look forward to. It can be something as simple as meeting up with a friend for a socially distanced walk or as important as starting the search for a new job. Making plans like these will give you a boost and most importantly something to look forward to.

4. Dance like no one’s watching

Put your favourite song on full and dance like no one is watching by yourself in your kitchen. Because dance is both a physical and emotional release, it’s ideal for people experiencing stress, depression, and anxiety. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional dancer or if you just like to move on the dance floor on Saturday night. Losing your inhibitions for just a few minutes is a great way to release some stress and lift your mood.

5. Get outside

Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can improve your mood, reduce stress, and help you dedicate some time to look out for yourself.

6. Ask for help

We’re still living through unprecedented times and that ‘Blue Monday feeling’ might be one that you haven’t been able to escape for a while. If so, always remember you’re not alone and there’s always people who can help you and listen to you.

Trinity's bereavement support

Samaritans

Mind

NHS - Live well

Mental Health

Mental health at work

Mental health at work (for health, care, emergency, education and key workers)