Seven things you can do to shake off the January blues

Monday 15th January is Blue Monday – supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

It has become a day many of us dread, and with the work pressure everyone in the Trust has been feeling recently this puts our risk factor even higher.

So, how can we turn this round, even enjoy it? 

Firstly, Blue Monday has no basis in science. It was created in 2005 by a British holiday company using a calculation involving factors such as weather conditions, financial debt, the end of Christmas, failed New Year’s resolutions and low motivation levels.  All of which apparently contribute to a mass depression which culminates on the 15th. 

And remember - we are each in control of all our own thoughts.  We can believe that each day will be grim and depressing - and that’s what we’ll look out for, and that’s what we’ll find.

Or we can choose to believe it will be a good day, in which case we’ll start to see more and more of the better bits.

It really is up to you.  But here are some tips to help you on the way; all short, sharp bursts that will make January so much easier to bear:

  1. Do some exercise – anything you enjoy!  Walking, jogging, swimming, cycling will all boost endorphins and help you feel calmer and happier.
  2. Smile and connect with others.  Smiling releases feel-good chemicals in your brain, and can be contagious.  Help others feel good too.
  3. Get as much light as you can. Natural light balances mood-boosting hormones
  4. Be grateful for what you have. List everything and everyone you are grateful for – it will help you feel more energetic and optimistic.
  5. Do something for someone else – large or small, it doesn’t matter.  Volunteer for a charity or just make your colleague a cup of tea.
  6. Take some time each day to do something just for you.  Read, walk, listen to music, meditate, paint a wall, whatever it is that transports you to another place!
  7. The Samaritans are urging people to turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday. Take a picture of you and your colleagues having a cuppa together on Monday and share on social media using #BrewMonday hashtag to support the charity.

For more information about the Trust’s Wellbeing Hub, visit http://east24/health-and-wellbeing.htm or email wellbeing.info@nhs.net

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