How to turn Blue Monday on its head and into something positive
With Blue Monday thought to be the day of the year we all feel the most down, coupled with a global pandemic thrown in for good measure, it’s especially important to look after our mental health. That is why we’re supporting Samaritans mission to turn the bluest day of the year into a day full of support and friendship.
Samaritans are on a mission to say goodbye to Blue Monday, and hello to Brew Monday. With us all feeling the effects of lockdown through working at home, the pressures of home-schooling or those that are experiencing loneliness, reaching out to a friend or loved one over a good cuppa could be just the remedy we need - albeit virtually.
It’s been shown that having someone there who is willing to listen to those who may be struggling and see the support they have has a positive impact on mental health. So if you know someone who you feel may be struggling throughout this time, lending an ear could achieve so much more than you think.
Find out more about how you can get involved with Samaritan’s #BrewMonday campaign here
Keep a routine
While we’re all stuck indoors and our usual daily routine seems like a distant memory, it’s easy to lose that rhythm many of us rely on to structure our days.
As tempting as it may be to stay in bed for longer or wear those cosy pyjamas all day, keeping a sense of that routine we had before can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Try sticking to your alarm as you did before, head out for a morning or lunchtime walk to breathe some fresh air into your day and get yourself ready as if you were heading out as normal.
Planning your day and prioritising things that are usual to our day-to-day not only adds some normality back into these strange times but can help you to feel grounded and accomplished, however bit or small the acts may be.
If you’re used to grabbing your favourite lunchtime meals on your morning commute or don’t have the energy to head off into the kitchen, the temptation to order that naughty takeaway, or grab something quick to eat from the supermarket may be there. But taking the time to get creative in the kitchen and cook up something that is full of nutrients will not only make your body feel better, but your mind too.
Eating healthy, balanced meals doesn’t have to be boring or time-consuming, and the reward you’ll get from knowing you’ve conjured up a dish worthy of Gordan Ramsey’s seal of approval will definitely set off that feel good factor.
Do something you love
With added pressures and limited entertainment, it’s understandable if feelings of boredom or cabin fever start to get to you. While your favourite exercise class may be cancelled, or your favourite hobby was going to the movies - it can be hard to find new ways to enjoy yourselves while at home and resort to endless social media scrolling.
Why not take this time to rehash a project you started a while back, or discover something new? Whether it’s baking, getting crafty or just picking up a good book - there’s likely to be more fun and interesting things to do at home than you’d imagined. Plus, taking a break from social media, work and the pressures we’re all facing right now will give you a much needed rest and help you feel uplifted.
Mindfulness and meditation have become words we hear much more often nowadays. If it’s something you haven’t tried, you may associate meditation with buddhism or feel like it’s not for you. But mindfulness is so much more than fancy yoga poses and a casual namaste. It’s been proven that practicing breathing exercises makes us feel calmer and more grounded. Whether you’re sitting on your sofa with a warm cup of tea, in bed or sitting with a warm brew, taking some time to focus on your breathing or simply stretching your body can do wonders for your mood.
If these kinds of exercises are all new to you, take a look here to find some simple exercises you can try in a place and time that suits you.
With so much uncertainty and lack of normality that we’re all experiencing, it’s usual to feel anxious or overwhelmed. We hope that these tips and advice can help to counter those feelings and give you positive ways to prioritise your mental health. And remember, whatever your feeling, you are not alone in it. We’re all finding our own way through these times as best we can. And if you’re struggling, The Samaritans are always just a phone call away to support you through those difficult times.