With January 16 dubbed as ‘Blue Monday’ we have reached what many consider to be the most depressing time of the year.
With the fun of Christmas and the optimism of New Year a distant memory, and a lack of cash in the bank, extra pounds on our waists and long, dark nights stretching as far as the eye can see, it can all feel bit doom and gloom.
However, we think that by making some simple changes to your lifestyle you really can see a little bit of sunshine everyday however cloudy it is outside.
Take a look at what you eat because that can impact your mood more than you might realise. Eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, good proteins and drinking plenty of water is key.
Keep an eye on your alcohol consumption as this can be a depressive and actually make your feel more miserable. Don’t use booze to mask problems and maybe ditch it altogether and take part in ‘Dry January’.
Get outside at least once a day. We know it is cold but fresh air and a little sunshine can do you the world of good. Take the dog, take a friend, take both but get your shoes and coat on and feel better instantly.
Don’t go bargain hunting. If you are looking for a quick hit from the sales you might not get the high you are looking for. Filling your basket with discount headphones, scarves and diaries might make you smile at the checkout but in the long run it will empty your bank balance and leave you feeling, well all spent out.
Many of us communicate with family and friends via email, text and social media and whilst it is an easy way to keep in touch, it can make you feel lonely. Meet up face to face for a coffee, lunch or maybe to take part in the pub quiz (water all round) and you will feel happier from real social interaction rather than a few ‘likes’ on Facebook.
Do something for someone else. Go shopping for a neighbour, volunteer for a charity or give blood – all of these are free and easy to do and will make you feel good.
Fill your diary with things to look forward to. Book a holiday, plan a spa day with friends or get tickets for a gig and know you have some great adventures ahead of you.
Paint a wall in your house your favourite colour and you’ll smile every time you see it.
Take a course. Be it gardening, cooking, sewing or web design, there are loads of free ones out there that you can plough your energy into that will make you feel happy and how knows, it could lead to a whole new career.
Exercise not only boosts your mood and self-esteem but it can also help you sleep, look and feel better. Whether it is running, a dance class or regular lengths in the pool, you will find those happy chemicals will benefit your mind, body and soul.
Turn off the news and listen to your favourite music instead.
Say hello to a strange and smile as you walk by – it is hard to feel rubbish with a smile on your face.
If you are struggling with feelings of anxiety and depression over a long period we suggest speaking to your doctor, or a family member or friend you trust.