Feeling a little blue this season?
You’re not alone — with a cold winter and dark skies comes Blue Monday, a term coined to describe the saddest day of the year. But it doesn’t have to be! Keep reading for our favorite tips on how to prioritize your mental health and happiness this season.
What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday refers to a term first coined by Cliff Arnal in 2005 to describe the year’s “most depressing day.” Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January every year.
With the holidays and family time wrapped up, the lack of sunlight and warmth found outdoors, and more people getting sick, it can be easy to let go of joy! Because of this, it becomes important for us to find ways to prioritize both our physical and mental health during this season. Though we’ve all heard about the importance of taking care of our physical health in the winter, our mental health can sometimes take the backseat as we get caught up trying to stay on top of promises and goals made at the start of the year.
The Importance of Mental Health in Winter
Did you know that January is actually National Mental Wellness Month?
After the busy hustle and bustle of the holiday season, taking the time to recharge our mental health and find moments of joy won’t only boost moods, but can actually benefit our physical health too! Studies show that a positive psychological mindset can even limit risk of heart attacks and strokes over time. Prioritizing our mental wellbeing and investing in self-care also means that we can show up better for our own selves, as well as those we love. Keep reading to learn some of our favorite ways to keep mental health top of mind in January!
How to Prioritize Your Happiness this Blue Monday
- Establish healthy habits and daily balance: It’s easy to feel blue when we don’t to get a good night’s sleep! Though January is a time when our workloads can get heavy, keep in mind that the foundation for improving our lives comes from taking care of ourselves first. Eating food that is nutrient dense, prioritizing good sleep, and moving our bodies daily provides a good foundation for our mental happiness.
Practice self care in your free time: Taking the time to love ourselves and enjoy our own company can be a great way to boost our mental state. Something as simple as relaxing with a face mask, picking up a book to read, lighting a candle, drinking a cup of tea, and ordering our favorite food can greatly benefit the way we feel. Investing in self-care practices can help manage stress, increase energy levels over time, and even lower risk of illness.
- Accept yourself and your emotions: Acknowledge emotional change when it comes, and allow yourself to feel all your feelings entirely! Bottling up emotions is known to disrupt your stress hormones, lead to headaches and long-term anxiety. It can be easy to do this in winter when we spend time indoors working. Remember that you’re not alone, and don’t hesitate to talk to a loved one or therapist about how you feel. This can be a great way to prevent sadness from sneaking up on you!
- Channel your energy into activities that spark joy: A great way to invest in our own happiness is by doing! Our favorite things to do include getting creative and painting, playing board games with loved ones, learning to bake a new treat, or even journaling. Channeling our energy into activities that are exciting or peaceful rather than emotionally draining are great ways to quickly boost our mental wellness if we feel down.