Is Blue Monday really the most depressing day of the year?
If the media tells enough people that it is, our mood may well be influenced by it. We won’t necessarily buy into it 100% but the suggestion that it is, can often be enough for us to anticipate it being a difficult day. When we think its going to be a difficult day, we may well begin to feel lower and change our behaviour in response to those thoughts and feelings. All of this combined means we increase the likelihood of our day being more challenging and our mood being lower.
How would you feel and what would you think if someone told you it was yellow Monday? A day of sunshine and happiness. A day when good things are going to happen. You may well feel more optimistic about the day ahead, you could be more energised and in a more positive mood.
Simply put Blue Monday is a con. It is a concept used by a travel agency as a marketing ploy and even the researcher who originally published the date has since challenged its validity. Since 2005 multiple retailers and companies have used the date as a publicity tactic: “Here’s the most depressing day of the year – why not book a holiday to cheer yourself up?”
How to boost your happiness on ‘Blue Monday’..
So if Blue Monday isn’t a real thing the great news is that it isn’t written in stone that you are going to have a bad day. There are multiple things that you can do to boost your mood (that don’t involve buying anything!).
Here’s three to try:
- Go outside: Even though its cold, getting outside is one of the best ways to boost your mood. Your brain will release more of your happy hormones and you’ll sleep better too. Even just a little wander in your garden can help.
- Look for two good things in your day: Evidence shows that when we make a mental note of the positive things in our day, over time our happiness levels increase. Your two things don’t have to huge, just small simple pleasures.
- Write a ‘done’ list: A done list is much more fun than a ‘to do’ list. Make a note of everything you’ve done. From brushing your teeth to tasks at work and home. You’ll be surprised just how much you have achieved on blue Monday!
For more mental wellbeing tips and advice follow us on social media or why not try one of our boxes.
PeachyMinds Box x
This year has been a rollercoaster, hasn’t it? For many of us looking forward to Christmas with loved ones has kept us moving forward. The promise of better times ahead can provide great motivation when we’re feeling low or struggling. With things changing on an almost daily basis how do we cope with the uncertainty that surrounds this christmas?
Why we struggle with uncertainty..
Simply put, our brains prefer certainty. We like to know what is happening and when and where, because this assists our brains in assessing any potential risks and threats. Helping it to keep us safe and away from harm. We have evolved in many ways but in this respect our brains are similar to when we were cave women. When we experience uncertainty our minds tend to fill the gaps with made up ‘knowledge’ and more often than not the content of this is negative and creates a false sense of certainty. We might find ourselves imagining all kinds of catastrophe’s and disasters about this Christmas as our brains try to protect and prepare us for worse case scenarios. The tricky part can be that the more important the occasion is to us, the more difficult it can be to cope with uncertainty surrounding it.
How can we cope better with uncertainty?
Here are our two top tips for coping with uncertainty at Christmas:
Acknowledge that you’re finding the uncertainty difficult and get to grips with the things that you are worried about happening or not happening. Often we try and avoid thinking too deeply about it because we want to avoid the uncomfortable feelings. Give yourself permission to find it difficult and show yourself compassion, kindness and understanding. This not only feels good but reassures your brain that you are safe and secure and that you have the resources to cope should anything go wrong.
Focus on what you can control. This Christmas there are undoubtedly things happening in the world that are outside of our control and whilst its important to acknowledge that (see tip one!) refocusing on what you can control can be helpful. Try drawing two concentric circles, in one write all of the things you can control. For example, what time you go to bed, what you eat, what gifts you buy etc. In the other you can write down all of the things that are out of your control. For example, the government, the news, other people actions. This activity can really help you gain perspective and focus on the things you can control. Making it easier to accept the things you can’t.
What are your top tips for coping with uncertainty at Christmas? Please join us and share them with us on social media.
At PeachyMinds Box we hope that the festive season brings you many moments of peace and happiness.
Why not make 2022 the year you take control and make your mental wellbeing a priority? We believe that with the right help and support everyone can have a peachier mind and a happier life.
Our mental wellbeing subscription boxes have been designed to help you do just that. Expertly curated by psychotherapists and delivered to your your door each month, our boxes contain a unique variety of products and activities. We’re bringing therapeutic activities out of the therapy room and into your home so you can reap the rewards of making your mental wellbeing a priority.
At PeachyMinds Box we know just what it takes to build a happier life and being connected to others plays a key part. This is why each month our community of peaches, guided by a psychotherapist, explore the months box contents together. Providing mutual support and accountability to help ensure the changes you are working hard to make really last. Unlike other boxes which may provide a wonderful treat or dose of self care, each PeachyMinds box contains the following essential elements.
- A guided, evidence backed therapeutic activity.
- A mindfulness activity/product.
- A creative activity, complete with all materials.
- A self care product chosen to reduce stress.
- Access to our online webinars and supportive community.
(We often like to include extra little ‘treats’ too but don’t tell everyone!)
Themes and topics change each month but all are based on our brains ability to adapt and become peachier when we make small changes to our thoughts and actions. If you’d like to suggest a theme for a future box please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.