Today marks what has been coined ‘Blue Monday’, which is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Why? Dr Cliff Arnall first proposed this idea in 2005 on the basis that the third Monday of January has a combination of the worst weather, debt, time since Christmas and falling behind in New Year’s resolutions. Whilst this formula is not particularly scientific, many agree that the festivities of Christmas have worn off and motivation levels are particularly low. That’s why we’ve put together our top 5 tips to help shake off those January blues.
Create achievable resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are a great idea to give you focus and motivation in the New Year. However, a common mistake made is to try and set yourself goals that are too ambitious, this can end up having a negative, rather than positive impact if you fail to make these goals a reality. Pick one achievable goal to try and implement in to your lifestyle, rather than trying to take on a complete lifestyle change. By making small changes, you will see the benefits long term.
Introduce healthier foods to your diet
There is more and more evidence supporting the concept that good nutrition is an essential factor in good mental health. It has been proven that diet can have a big impact on a person’s mood and wellbeing. By simply reducing your sugar intake and increasing the amount of wholegrain cereals, nuts, beans, lentil, fruit and vegetables in your diet, it can help manage and in some cases prevent mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The NHS state, “Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression”. NHS guidelines state that adults aged 19-64 should be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week and strength exercises two or more days a week. Set yourself a goal to increase the amount of exercise you do each week, something as simple as a brisk walk can count as moderate aerobic activity so start wherever you feel comfortable.
Make plans for the year ahead
Give yourself something to look forward to! It can be something as simple as meeting up with a friend for coffee or as important as starting the search for a new job. If you’re unhappy in your current job, then start being proactive and taking steps towards working out what you want in a new role. Making plans like these will give you a boost and most importantly something to look forward to.
Random act of kindness
You may have heard people say it’s better to give than receive, but did you know this is backed up by research? Helping others has been shown to be beneficial for your own mental health by reducing stress, improving emotional wellbeing and even benefitting your physical health. There are many ways of doing this, including donating to a charity or volunteering in your community. Take the time to be kind and reap the rewards for your own mental wellbeing.
We hope these tips help you to beat Blue Monday this year. If you are considering switching jobs, why not take a look through Pulse’s current vacancies? We have a variety of opportunities spanning across healthcare and social work, in both the public and private sector. Whether you are interested in working in the UK or abroad, our team can find you a suitable opportunity.