Blue Monday: How to make yourself happy on the saddest day of the year
Feeling the blues on Blue Monday. You’re not the only one. Blue Monday: allegedly the most depressing day of the year. Christmas and New Year have ended, you have more than 300 days to wait for your next festive holiday and you’re now up to your neck in work deadlines. On this gloomy date, we’ve wrapped up some endorphin-inducing ways to turn frowns upside-down.
‘Those who came before me lived through their vocations’, as go the lyrics of New Order’s Blue Monday. And it’s true. You can get yourself through the blues by trying new things - this list of happiness-boosting activities should get you out of that downward rut in no time.
Happiness doesn’t come in pills - you can find it all at your local club. It’s scientifically proven that exercise produces endorphins. And endorphins make us happy. Simple as that. Even light exercise, such as brisk walks, will produce these joy-giving chemicals in our body. Yes, the days may be colder in January, but wrapping up and going out for walks alone or with others is the most natural way of increasing your happiness.
If a full workout isn’t your thing at the moment (especially if you’re slowly gearing up after Christmas) then try one of Holmes Place Xpress classes. These 15-minute workouts include various classes such as Circuit Xpress which is the perfect blend of fast results and fun - ideal for a quick blast of happy.
2. Spend time with others
Ed Diener and Martin Seligman published a journal in 2002 titled ‘Very Happy People’. Tests were undertaken on 222 graduates, comparing the difference in happiness. The scientists discovered that the happiest graduates were highly sociable, with stronger relationships among family and friends. We all yearn for that slice of family time or good interaction with friends, but we don’t “always have the time for it”. Well, find the time for it - there are plenty of ways you can exercise with your little ones, ticking the happiness boxes of points one and two in this article.
3. Finding time for you
Although this may appear to be a contradiction to spending time with others, it’s also paramount that you find time just for you - whether that's reading, chilling out to music or enjoying a relaxing soak in the bath. Savouring time alone has many benefits - relaxation, productivity, wellbeing, creativity and focus to name but a few. So when you’re having a dark day, maybe take that much-deserved time-out from the world and do exactly what you want to do. Your mind and body will thank you for it. Indulge in your favourite class.
4. Eat healthy
January might not scream ‘salad season’ (it’s cold, after all), but there are so many nutrient-rich, in-season vegetables available to improve your diet with. Root veg is a seasonal star - whip up all manner of soups to fill your belly and warm your soul the healthy way. Don’t shy away from carbohydrates, especially porridge - oats are excellent happy foods and fill you up for longer. They also contain soluble fibre, which slows down sugar absorption and increases serotonin - the happiness hormone. If you feel like you need more advice on eating healthy, our helpful Holmes Place nutritionists are always available for support and guidance. Try these delicious treats that will bring a smile to your face.
No surprise here. The benefits of mediation are plentiful, with happiness and wellbeing sitting pretty at the top of the list. Meditation is said to shrink the part of our brain which controls fear and anxiety, helping to discourage negativity. How many times have you been low of mood and thought about cancelling that yoga and meditation class - however, when you pushed yourself to attend you’ve come away feeling alleviated of the stress you took in with you? Meditation is a genuinely effective happiness tool which can be utilised at home, in the office or at the gym - so there are no excuses for you not to find your little bit of Zen.