Usually falling on the third Monday of January every year, Blue Monday is observed as what British media outlets have coined, ‘the most depressing day of the year.’ Originating from a press release by Sky Travel in 2005, there are several factors which determine why today might be challenging, most notably: the fact pay day is still miles away, those new year resolutions have already been broken and the temperature gauge is stuck in the single digits.
Many have called into the question of the day’s validity, and rightfully so. In 2014, Ben Goldacre, Author of Bad Science and Guardian Journalist completely debunked the pseudo-science to be nothing, but a PR stunt designed to drive up holiday bookings.
But where Blue Monday may be a myth, the January blues are an all-too-real experience for most. The month’s harsh winter is commonly linked to exacerbated feelings of sadness and anxiety, especially affecting individuals with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
It’s safe to say, these blues can be quite the dampener, however, at Major Players we are firm believers in seizing the day. This year, we’re leaving the pseudo-science to the pseudo-scientists and painting this Monday a different hue altogether. Whether you’re looking for ways to melt away your January blues or want to make some changes this year, we’ve got some thoughtful and focused ways of reclaiming Blue Monday, for whatever you need it to be.
Start with a list.
Everyone loves a list, right? It’s become more important than ever to be intentional about your time and by formulating a plan for your day, it will provide much needed purpose and structure. A list doesn’t just need to be about work-related tasks, they can also be about fun things too – don’t forget, tick off those completed which will give you a sense of achievement, no matter how small they may appear!
Say it out loud.
It sounds a little obvious but starting your day with a dose of positive affirmations will set your mindset in the right way. For example:
Today is going to be a great day
I am going to achieve what I set out to do
I believe in all of the good things that will come my way
I can do this!
A top tip is to say them out loud in front of the mirror, this will help drive the positivity home.
Dress for the day.
Particularly now, where many of us are working from home, it’s easy to chuck on whatever is on top of the pile, but this is your call to arms – don’t. We often feel our best, when we look our best, and by dressing for the day you’ll give your mindset that additional boost it might need.
Make a connection.
Evident from Covid-19, we are super social beings. A study conducted in 2018 showed the positive effect conversations have on our wellbeing, and their research uncovered, “people who spend more time interacting and have more meaningful, substantive conversations are more satisfied.”
Well, if that isn’t invitation enough to put the kettle on and have a natter, then we don’t know what is. Why not pick up the phone and have a real chat, or a facetime with someone you know will help you beat blue Monday. Maybe call someone you know might be struggling today. Either way, a catch up is a great way to feel instantly brighter.
Failing that, below we’ve linked forums, advice lines and resources to help you connect with someone wherever you may be.
Lyf App- Hybrid social media/mental health app that provides a much-needed alternative to mainstream social media as well as promoting compassion and well-being amongst its users.
Wisdo App - Wisdo provides a meaningful alternative to mainstream social networks by connecting people to others who can truly get them since they’ve been in their shoes and are ready to offer non-judgmental support and encouragement.
Hear.Me App - HearMe anonymously connects you with an empathetic Listener in under a minute, 24 hours a day - for free.
Get a sweat on.
Exercising in the winter months is often hard, despite our best intentions, but this is also one of the best ways to improve your mood. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. So, dig out the spandex, put your best foot forward and pump up the jam!
Celebrate the small wins.
Motivation can be a little challenging to muster as we charge on into the first month of the year. Our resolute thinking may be starting to wane, or we might be finding it hard to shake off an energy dip. Whatever it may be, there are always practical ways to spark some serotonin when you’re not feeling the best.
Though Sunday traditionally is seen as the start of the week, Monday has long been our day to beckon in a new week of possibility and renewal. The Fabulous App, as recommended by our very own Head of People, Abi Street, seems to think and work the same way.
Each week, this digital wellbeing and routine tracker app helps you build strong healthy habits all while threading an interactive story to follow as you hit your milestones! Guaranteed to brighten any morning, this is a fantastic pocket of joy to help you kick the blues out of your Monday and hopefully help you feel just a little more accomplished about your day.
Other small wins can include ticking something off your to-do list, finishing a chapter of your book, getting the laundry in or a full 8 hours of slumber. Whatever your win looks like, it’s something to celebrate.
Make time for you.
We have all been there at the start of the year, giving things up, rigid in our new year resolutions and so on, but remember to make time for you and things you enjoy.
No matter what form your self-care takes, make sure you practice it today. If that’s a nice coffee and a delicious pastry before work or a pamper session at the end of the day – indulge yourself. Schedule it into your diary and really make time for it!
Be inspired and boogie.
We hope these little pick-me-ups helped you take charge of your day and give it a brighter hue - Remember, you own Blue Monday… Blue Monday doesn’t own you!
If all else fails, the team at Major Players have created the perfect soundtrack to help you get through the day – listen to 2 hours of unadulterated bangers!