Well, we’ve survived the (almost) end of the world (thank you, Mayan’s for being wrong) and a near swan dive off the fiscal cliff. Here we are in the first week of a brand new year. The holidays, and all the fun that went with them, are tucked neatly away until next year. In spite of coming through so much and having enjoyed a fabulous holiday season, sometimes January brings with it a bad case of the blues.
Scientists have actually calculated the most depressing day of the year and it’s rapidly approaching. January 21 has been designated as this year’s “Blue Monday”. Blue Monday got its sad and melancholy reputation from a convenient juxtaposition of bad and annoying things that all come together mid-January to create a bit of a sadness perfect storm. Those pesky post-holiday bills have arrived. New Year’s resolutions have already failed and perhaps been abandoned. Look outside and what you see is the coldest, most miserable weather of the year. Motivation to do anything is at an all time low. Combine all these factors with the least favorite day of the week, and there you have it…Blue Monday.
Blue Monday is just around the corner. What, if anything, can you do to prevent falling into a bad case of the mid-winter blues? Here’s our list of quick and easy mid winter pick me ups that are sure to get you smiling again.
- Look ahead. Today may not be the greatest but there are many fun things to look forward to. Start making plans for Valentine’s Day or a long President’s Day weekend now. Having something to look forward to can be a great pick me up.
- Get Outside! Even if the weather is cold and nasty, getting some fresh air can be invigorating to your mind and body. Put on a hat and gloves if it’s cold. I have a silly hat with furry and ridiculous earflaps that I can’t possibly wear without smiling a little; try it out if you don’t believe me.
- Give Your Brain Some Space. Over-thinking your woes never did much to help your situation. Take a purposeful time out. Breathe in deeply and slowly. Try to think happy thoughts if possible to put some space between yourself and what’s bugging you.
- Sweat it Out: Exercise is a great way to purge your mid-winter blues. The endorphins created during exercise will automatically elevate your mood. You might feel like an extended TV-a-thon, but an hour of good sweat will do far more for your mood.
- Hydrate. All the forced air heating can dry you out more than you realize, plus all that holiday drinking didn’t help, either. Focus for a couple days on drinking lots of water–it’s amazing how well this works!
- Dance! (And boy to we have costumes for that!) Practice your moves. Lady Gaga, Madonna, Elvis, Michael Jackson–crank up your favorite tunes and go at it. Bring the kids in on the action and don’t forget to take a few videos. Which brings us to the next mood-elevator…
- Sing! In the shower, in the car, wherever. Belt it out like you mean business. Silly or uplifting songs are perfect for snapping out of a funk. Our favorites? “Don’t Stop Believing”, (Journey) and “Chicken Fried” (Zac Brown Band).
- Phone a Friend: Sometimes having a lively chat and catching up with an old buddy is a great way to perk yourself up.
January doesn’t have to spell disaster for your mood. Try these hints to lift your spirits and spit right in the face of Blue Monday!