Beat the Blue Monday Slump and Survive the Saddest Day of the Year

Monday, January 17 is set to be Blue Monday in 2022. What started as an ad campaign has evolved into an actual day of note, with psychologists and weather experts chiming in about why this day makes us so sad.

Beat the Blue Monday Slump and Survive the Saddest Day of the Year

No Blue Monday blues for you

Blue Monday is caused by many factors. Monday is already often touted as the worst day of the week and this particular Monday falls two weeks after New Year’s Day, which is when most people give up their resolutions. The weather during this time is often bleak and the excitement of the holiday season has worn off, leaving everyone feeling a little down.

However, you don’t have to be a victim of the dreariness and sadness of this day. Follow these steps to beat the Blue Monday blues. 

Rethink your New Year’s resolution

The completion rate of New Year’s resolutions is bleak. Only eight percent of people actually accomplish what they set out to do, while only 25 percent keep up their resolutions through the first 30 days. This means the majority of people give up within the first few weeks of the year.

There are many reasons why resolutions fail. Some people take on a large goal instead of breaking it down into smaller achievable tasks. For example, you might try to lose 25 pounds as quickly as possible, rather than setting a long-term goal of consistent change to lose two pounds per month over a year.

On the other hand, others don’t have real motivation to change and hope that a new year will somehow inspire them. To make Blue Monday less blue, and increase your chances of resolution success, set small monthly goals. Reflect on why you want to change and then build in rewards along the way to keep you motivated.

Make Blue Monday a reward day to give you a much-needed pick-me-up. And always craft your resolutions in a way so you can set yourself up on the right track from the start.

Eat colorful foods that are good for you

Did you know that some foods can actively fight depression? These mood-boosting foods are often high in protein and other nutrients, which provide energy and help you break out of a funk. Even the act of caring for yourself by preparing food can make you feel better on low days.

To beat Blue Monday, eat foods that are great for your body. Use this graph from Harvard Health to make sure you’re including all the key elements, which includes:

  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Proteins
  • Fruits
  • Healthy oils
  • Water

Plan a mid-week activity

One of the main causes of Blue Monday is that the weekend seems so far away. There are five full days before you can enjoy the fun of Friday and the weekend. That’s why some health experts are encouraging people to schedule midweek activities to keep their spirits high.

We need to be less rigid and stop saving up all fun and entertainment for the weekend,” says Dr. Margaret Seide, a board-certified psychiatrist.

There are multiple ways to break up your week.

  • Schedule a class to enjoy your favorite hobby
  • Join a social sports league with mid-week practices or games
  • Meet up with friends
  • Go out to dinner
  • Plan a fun get together

When Monday rolls around, you aren’t facing a full week of long days ahead.

Start spring cleaning

Even if the snow is packed up to the windows and your car is coated in ice, you can still start thinking about spring cleaning. Decluttering and cleaning have many proven benefits, including reduced anxiety and increased self-worth. You’ll find greater value in your space and take pride in where you live.

This practice can also help you become a better leader. “Decluttering utilizes your decision-making and problem-solving skills: You’ve got Y amount of space and X amount of stuff,” says Dr. Alice Boyes, author of The Healthy Mind Toolkit.To make everything fit, you need to make reasonably quick decisions about whether to keep or discard items, and where to put them.

Set aside time during Blue Monday to declutter your desk or clean your home to make your space feel as good as you want to feel.

Don’t let Blue Monday get to you

You don’t have to give into the Blue Monday blues. Use these strategies and ideas to feel great, no matter what day of the week it is. Plus, you’ll end up with a cleaner house, more fun plans, a healthier way of eating and a better new year’s resolution!

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