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Blue Monday

Did you know the third Monday in January is reported to be the most depressing day of the year? Christmas is over, leaving empty wallets in its wake; family squabbles have, in some cases, escalated and appointments with divorce lawyers are at a premium; still in the grips of winter, the warmth of summer sun feels a long way off and it’s hard to find things to look forward to.

This date was originally calculated in 2005 by Cliff Arnall, former researcher, lecturer and post graduate tutor at Cardiff University, using a formula derived from a variety of factors including weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling a need to take action.

This may be the cause of our January blues but what is the solution? We’ve put together a few Blues Busting tips:

  • binge on happiness – have a complete blow out on all the things that make you happy, don’t save them for the weekend or when you’re feeling brighter, do them today!
  • enjoy a cuddle – physical contact is a great smile booster and the ideal length for a cuddle to be effective is 5.89 seconds
  • snap a selfie – no one can resist laughing at funny photos with their mates wearing fake beards and oversized glasses, so get your cameras out and start snapping
  • be outrageously kind – you can’t help but feel good when you’re doing something nice for someone be it saying hello to a stranger, helping out a neighbour or doing the coffee run at work
  • wear colour – January is notoriously gloomy so try and bring a splash of colour into the day by wearing brightly coloured clothes or accessories
  • have a comedy marathon – download your favourite comedy show and watch it back to back for a few hours
  • book a holiday – if you can’t afford a holiday browse your cookbooks and cook up an exotic feast and theme the table to suit your country of choice
  • get help – occasionally it might be more than January Blues and it’s important to recognise the symptoms. If you’ve lost enjoyment in life, struggle to sleep, have a change in appetite, feel lethargic, cry for no reason or feel hopeless these are some of the warning signs of depression, so seek professional help.

For further support and information you can ring our free and confidential enquiry line 0808 168 2233 or contact specialist organisations such as Mind, Mental Health Foundation or NHS Choices.

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