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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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