12 ways to boost your mood for Blue Monday
20th January 2020
Dubbed “blue monday”, the third Monday of every January (this year falling on Monday 20 January) is known as being the most depressing day of the year.
The concept was first introduced in 2004, when a travel company asked a psychologist to come up with a “scientific formula” for the January blues. The outcome of which incorporated factors such as weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing New Year's resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action.
Needless to say that the “science” behind the formula was questionable, and the fact that its result spits out the third Monday in January is probably nothing more than coincidental. But January blues are very much real and many people find themselves suffering with low mood, anxiety and depression due in part to the factors mentioned.
How to avoid the blues this January
If you’re suffering this month or find yourself in need of a mood boost then here are a few top tips on how to feel better this Blue Monday.
Get some exercise
You don’t have to be a professional athlete or workout until you’re dripping with sweat in order to feel the benefits of exercise. Even moderate exercise (such as walking) releases endorphins which are known to boost your mood.
Regular exercise can also give you more energy, which can counteract any feelings of lacking motivation.
Eating a diet that’s full of processed foods or high in fat can have a negative impact on your mental health, especially if it leads to weight gain.
Eating a balanced diet packed with fresh foods, plenty of nutrients and slow-releasing energy can do more than just make your body feel healthier. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and wholegrains have both been linked to improving mood and lowering your risk of depression.
Get enough sleep
In order to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, it’s important to get enough sleep. Around 7 to 8 hours is recommended for adults, but this must be good quality sleep in order to reap the benefits.
Spend time with friends and family
Surrounding yourself with the people you love is a great way to boost your mood. Whether you want to talk about your problems and get some advice, or simply do something fun to keep your mind off things, it’s important to have a good support network.
Do things that you enjoy
If you’re suffering with your mental health, then the things that you normally enjoy can suddenly seem unappealing. However, you should still try and do them because anything that gets you focused on something positive can help to avoid negative thoughts.
Think positive thoughts
Instead of focusing on the negatives, a good way to improve your mood is to focus on the positives. If you’re struggling at work, think about what great friends you have. If you’re struggling with your health, think about an upcoming event that you’re looking forward to.
Sex is a form of exercise, so you’ll get that same endorphin boost as if you went on a run or did a gym class. Not only that, but a whole load of other things happen in your body when you orgasm, including a release of chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin. These chemicals, paired with the fact that sex lowers cortisol (the stress hormone) can all contribute to a better mood.
Sex can also help you feel more connected to your partner, but if you’re single then masturbating can provide the same mood-boosting benefits. Whatever you’re doing, just make sure you’re doing it safely with our range of sexual health products.
However, if you’re a man who is suffering with erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation then sex can actually contribute to anxiety and low mood. We stock effective treatments for both conditions, so you can get back to enjoying sex again.
Talk to someone
Whether it’s a friend or family member, a work colleague or a healthcare professional, talking about your problems can help you to release tension and feel less alone.
If you feel unable to talk about things with people you know then you may find it helpful to attend a depression support group or talk to a kind stranger through a registered charity service.
Plan a holiday
According to a global study carried out by booking.com, it’s travel that makes us the happiest. Out of the 17,000 people surveyed, 72 percent said their mood was boosted by simply researching their trip, while 56 percent claimed to be at their happiest once their holiday was booked.
If you’re feeling in need of something to look forward to then start researching your next travel destination (even if you can’t afford to actually book it yet). Once it’s booked, be sure you have everything you need with our range of travel health products.
Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol is a depressant, so even though it may feel like it’s distracting you from your problems or giving you a temporary “buzz”, it may actually be negatively affecting your mood more than you realise.
Limit your alcohol intake and focus on healthy living instead and you should notice an overall improvement.
If your outlook on life is being negatively impacted by stress factors then it’s important to find ways to reduce it. Breathing techniques, organising your time and taking time for yourself can all help to reduce stress and make you feel calmer. And if behavioural therapies aren’t helping, then Passion flower has been shown to relieve symptoms of mild anxiety and stress.
Get some perspective
For a lot of people, low mood can be caused by being too critical of yourself, worrying about things you can’t change or being unrealistic about achievements you think you should’ve made.
Try to get some perspective on things and flip your thoughts on their head. Instead of thinking “I’m not as successful as I’d like to be”, think “I’ve come a long way since I started”.
Even though Blue Monday might be a tenuous concept, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems are real and felt by many. If you’re struggling this January (or at any point in the year) then don’t hesitate to seek help.