6 Ways to Beat the “Blue Monday” Blues

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Happy Blue Monday! Typically the third Monday in the month of January, it is reported to be the most depressing day of the year. This is the time of year that we struggle with freezing temperatures, lots of snow, and lack of light. We’ve also come off the busy-ness of the holiday season that was jam-packed with social activities, shopping and events. Mounting debt levels and pressure of new year’s resolutions also weigh on our minds. But how we react to our circumstances is totally within our control. We can choose to sink or swim. Today I challenge you to look at the day – and the days that follow – with positivity!

Here are a few ways to combat the “blues” today:

Image - Exercise1. Exercise. Your body and brain need oxygen to function, and exercise increases the oxygen supply in your blood. Exercise also releases feel-good endorphins. Get up and move – outside if possible – move that O2 around your blood and will feel re-energized.

2. Get into the Light. Research has shown that light therapy is effective in combatting the effects of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). So don’t sit in the dark today, get outside if you can to get some natural light. Vitamin D is a great way to supplement the effects of lack of light.

3. Keep Smiling. Smiles are contagious, not only will you feel better, but the person you smile at will also feel good. It takes fewer facial muscles to smile than frown, so your body naturally relaxes. When you feel yourself slipping into a funk, think of something that makes you smile, and smile.

4. Eat Well. Certain foods, containing high levels of protein, vitamins, calcium,IMG_0405 omega-3s and whole grains are known to boost levels of serotonin in the brain, effectively acting as an anti-depressant. Add more oily fish, dark chocolate, eggs, walnuts and yoghurt to your diet to beat those blues, and feel more healthy.

5. Indulge. Give yourself something special, which makes you feel good. It could be as simple as a nice piece of chocolate, a bubble bath or a great bottle of wine. Perhaps it’s dinner out because the thought of feeding the family today is just overwhelming. Keep it simple but something that you value.

6. Be Grateful. Take a moment today to be thankful for the gifts in your life. In a society that values consumerism and commercialism, we forget to express gratitude for what we have. Today I am grateful for: great friends, a supportive family, a beautiful, home, meaningful work, good health, and fabulous opportunities to travel!