With the changeable weather, returning to the daily routine, plus the pressure of New Year’s resolutions, January can feel a challenge to many of us, culminating with Blue Monday, the “most depressing day of the year”, falling today the 16, as the third Monday of January. Typically, January Blues manifests as low mood, sadness, lack of motivation, tiredness, and low energy. It is also the peak season for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which can induce severe depressive episodes during the darker months.
Our highly skilled Wellbeing Advisors at OneMedical Group provide person-centred wellbeing advice and compassionate care for all patients to make sure people are supported when they need it most. They are working to improve wellbeing outcomes across communities in Corby, Sheffield, Derby, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Nuneaton.
Below, they offer valuable recommendations to help you cope if you struggle with low-level mental health.
Recommendations to give yourself the best start to 2023
- Understand that this is normal
There are biological reasons you might feel low and lack energy during January, and there is nothing ‘wrong’ with these feelings. Understanding that it is a natural response is helpful. Try not to become isolated and connect with other people for support. We all need someone to talk to. With this in mind, try to do something different today or make a new connection.
- Avoid unrealistic New Year’s resolutions
One of the reasons why people suffer from the January Blues is because they are overly ambitious with their New Year’s resolutions and are left feeling unhappy when they cannot fulfil them. Avoid complicated and vague resolutions such as “save money” or “be more organised”, or make sure it is one you can achieve and measure.
- Eat properly
Apart from being very unhealthy, fatty, heavy food and sugar cause tiredness and make you crave food unnecessarily. A healthy diet will boost your mood and give you more energy. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Sleep well
National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep can negatively impact your mental health and make you irritable, anxious and worried. Try to reduce screen time in the evenings to let your brain switch off and allow for good sleep quality.
10 Healthy Tips to beat Blue Monday
- Start your day with a good healthy breakfast. It can set you up for the day.
- Do things that make you happy and show gratitude for the small things in life.
- Make the most of the natural light to boost your mood and help regulate your sleep cycles properly.
- Stay active to reduce stress and improve self-esteem.
- Be kind to yourself and others too.
- Limit phone time and social media, and pay more attention to what’s happening around you.
- Use creative hobbies, engage with art or learn a new skill. All are ideal ways to gain a sense of achievement and boost your confidence.
- Remember to treasure the little wins to move your focus away from the negatives.
- Make sure you visit your nearest community Wellbeing Hub for free wellbeing service.
- Reach out to mental health charities locally that offer support (E.g. Mind, Anxiety UK, Samaritans, National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK, SaneLine, CALM, Shout, Papyrus Helpline).