Mondays are always awful. Undoubtedly the worst day of the week; an early start for work after the weekend with rush hour starting an hour earlier than usual and lasting twice as long, five days to go before another weekend and my local pub is shut in the evening. If this isn’t enough, this week could be even bleaker because of Blue Monday.
What is Blue Monday?
Originally an idea conceived by a PR company, what is now considered as the most depressing day of the year is now a recognized event, often falling on the 3rd Monday, although sometimes the 2nd or 4th. This year it’s the 15th.
So why the depression?
With the return to work after the holidays, the joy of Christmas has become an increasingly distant memory with many now facing hefty debts, large credit card bills and significantly increased waistlines. This, coupled with the dismal, bleak winter weather worsened this year by it not just being cold but also miserable and wet, leaves very little to be joyous about. The Christmas blues are further compounded by payday being still over two weeks away and any New Year resolutions proving almost impossible to stick to.
There is also the fear that this blue Monday could be the bluest ever with increased concerns about terrorism, Brexit and Trump. On the home front, there is also insecurity regarding the future of our health service, educational system, jobs and pensions. So if you’re usually a glass half empty rather than half full kind of person, 2018 is looking distinctly dark rather than anything vaguely bright or orange.
So how can we beat the blues this Blue Monday?
Take some time to yourself
December is always such a manic month that January is the ideal time to take a big deep breath and try to relax a little. Taking 5 minutes to yourself with a cup of tea (or in my case a lifesize glass of wine) won’t break the bank and if you do so while listening to some of your favourite songs or watching a real, feel good movie, then it’s time well spent.
Take a walk
If you’re more of a lover of the great outdoors than your sofa, then although it’s cold out there, there’s still lots of lovely walks to be enjoyed. If I ever need of a bit of a lift, then a country walk in the fresh air with privileged pup is just the ticket! Just need to ensure that I am well wrapped up to brave the elements or it’ll not just be me that’s wet through, my mood may also be dampened somewhat.
Make some plans
There’s nothing I love more than a good list and January is the perfect time for making some plans for the rest of the year whether they be for travel, work or leisure. It doesn’t need to cost you a penny either. No need to rush out and put deposits on this that and the other. At this stage you can do all the research from the comfort of your sofa.
Do some exercise
I have to admit, walking privileged pup is about as close to exercise as I get. However it is exercise for free, can be done anywhere at anytime so suits me down to the ground. Regular exercise can not only reduce your risk of major illnesses but studies have shown that it can make you happier, boost your mood and more significantly at this time of year, when coupled with a balanced diet, can help with weight loss. Losing a bit of that post Christmas bulge would certainly make my husband a lot happier. He is currently dispatched on a daily basis for extra privileged pup walks.
Catch up with friends
Although we’re often all wined and dined out once we get past Christmas, January is the perfect time to touch base with our besties who are also recovering from too much Christmas indulgence. Teaming up to take part in initiatives such as Dry January or Veganuary is a great way to boost morale and keep the momentum. However my husband’s idea of Dry January is not to go out in the rain. Not quite what I had in mind when I suggested it.
Smile and be nice to others
If you’re feeling a bit low this Monday, then bear in mind that others may feel the same. Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a nice word or two to make someone else’s day. In line with my previous post on how to be a better customer in 2018, praise the positive rather than dwelling on the negative. Thinking back to my cabin crew days when I had just been diagnosed with MS, it was so hard to be nice to people when I felt so dire so if someone was ever nice to me, it used to make all the difference.
Think of all the nice things associated with blue
There are many connotations to the word blue; not just sadness. For me, blue symbolises calm, relaxation, serenity and peace. It’s by far my favourite colour and the breathtaking seascape below by my favourite artist Melanie Cormack Hicks is the epitome of everything beautiful and blue. If I couldn’t live in the countryside then I would definitely live by the sea and short of being able to get there myself on Monday then a tour of the seasons in Melanie’s artwork will certainly be enough to beat my blues for now.
Thank you to Melanie for allowing me to share the beautiful blue of her work with you. If you’d like to see more examples of Melanie’s stunning seascapes, landscapes and woodlands then you can visit her website here.