Why does Blue Monday exist?

It’s easy to understand why Blue Monday exists... Maybe but why? January can be the most miserable month of the year due to the comedown of celebrations for Christmas and New Year, our bank accounts are begging for pay day and it’s still cold and dark outside.

Today, 16th January is Blue Monday. This is arguably the most depressing day of the year due to reasons mentioned above.

What we need to realise is, some of us have these feelings all year round not necessarily in January or even on this day.

So we’ve decided, rather than explaining why it’s ‘depressing’ we want to promote ways in which to feel better and to help your mental health and wellbeing.

We asked our volunteers and staff members what activities they like to do this time of year to beat the winter ‘blues’ and Seasonal Affective disorder symptoms.

• I swear by my slow cooker in the winter – I can just throw some ingredients in on a morning before work and when I get home I have a nice, hot meal waiting.
• Lighting a scented candle always makes me feel cosy on a night.
• I visit my local library a lot in winter so I always have something good to read.
• Planning is key for me – I write them all down in my calendar so it keeps me occupied and have things to look forward to, so I’m less likely to sit at home feeling lonely.
• I find walking by the sea or surrounded by the trees and nature really helps lift my mood in winter.
• I begin sowing seeds this time of year, it’s something to look forward to watching the progress every day as their usually ready by summer.
• I try to go for a walk every day in winter before its dark, it’s good to notice how nature is changing especially when you can see buds starting to grow.
• I try to stay active and alert by maintaining my daily mediation practices.
• I like to capture photos on my camera throughout winter, especially changing aspects of nature to see how the seasons are continually shifting.
• I like to treat myself for a good meal out somewhere to blow away the cobwebs of dark days of the cold and miserable weather.
• It may seem an odd thing to do when you feel blue but I always try to smile. There is actually evidence to suggest that smiling can make you feel better.

These are only a few examples of things you can do daily to help with your wellbeing, it can be as little as lighting some candles to going for walks and making the most of the daylight. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health so if you can find something you enjoy from nature walks to attending the gym, there is something for everyone.
There is a lot to enjoy about the winter months and we hope you can find your own remedies and self-help rituals.
Throughout this day we will be sharing lots of blue Monday content from inspirational quotes, blog posts and lots more so do check out our social media.

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