Blue Monday: 6 Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy
Updated: Jan 23
Blue Monday is coming! And yes, we put an exclamation point on that first sentence because we’re not giving in this year. No way. We’re going to smile and wave as Blue Monday passes us by without it causing any more damage to our lives.
What is Blue Monday?
In 2005, Sky Travel, a now-defunct British travel agency, dubbed the third Monday of every January as Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year; in a press release that was quite clearly a PR stunt. But, since then, many have bought into the concept that Blue Monday is real. The travel agency even went as far as to formulate an equation that proved their theory, but several scientists have since proven there is no equation to claim Blue Monday as a thing.
Whether or not it's real, we’ve just come off a really tough year that doesn’t seem to be letting up. But we’re going to be resilient and not let winter feed us any more negative energy. We’re going to take care of ourselves and make sure we’re physically and mentally able to deal with the unpredictability that’s become a normal part of our lives.
How to beat the blues beyond Blue Monday
We’re using Blue Monday as an analogy for winter blues in general. The days are shorter and darker, and that can have a negative effect on your overall mood. Don’t get too caught up on our mention of Blue Monday. Seasonal depression is a real thing, so these tips are useful all winter long.
1. Take a break from the news
At least for a little while. Yes, the news keeps you informed, but it’s usually a flood of negative events. You should periodically take a break from absorbing that kind of energy. Listening to negativity all the time can damper your mood and put you in a not-so-good mindset. Do yourself a favour and give the news a break.
2. Keep a regular sleeping schedule
Psychologist Kelly Donahue says that not getting “adequate or regular sleep...disrupts our cortisol rhythms and impacts hormone production.” Those are two elements that play a big role in determining your mood. Not only is it important to get enough sleep, but sleeping and waking up at the same time is also important.
3. Don’t be afraid to call someone
So often when we’re going through something, we always feel like we’re alone. We don’t think that anyone else can help us. That’s not usually the case. Reaching out to a friend or family member when you’re having a tough day can make all the difference in the world. You can even have an agreement with one of your friends beforehand to do regular check ins with each other throughout the winter. Whatever you do and whatever you’re going through, the important thing is to not try to handle it on your own.
4. Get social
Branching off the previous point, you don’t have to wait for a bad day to connect with other people. Get proactive and find ways to connect with different people, groups or communities. Boomerang has built a community of tens of thousands of older adults who enjoy taking part in our workshops and connecting outside of our platform. We’ll be here all winter any time you’re ready to do some yoga, try some new recipes in one of our cooking classes, or participate in any number of our other workshops and activities.
5. Stay active
The connection between physical activity and mental health has been proven. A study by the American Psychological Association says that “Physical activity has been shown to boost mood, decrease the symptoms of depression, and reduce stress.” You’ll likely be inside, but we’ve given you tips on how to stay active in your home.
6. Get help
There are a lot of resources available to help better manage stress, moods, and mental health. There is no shame in getting advice or professional help. We would go further to argue it is a great practice of self-care.
Check out upcoming Boomerang workshops on Stress Management for Women.
Beat the winter blues with Boomerang
Winters in Canada can feel like a marathon. And even though it gets dark before dinner, you don’t need to give in to the feelings of sadness that sometimes overtakes those dark days. We’ve described just a few of the ways you can beat Blue Monday and the subsequent winter blues, with the main message being you really don’t need to do anything alone.
We’re proud of the community we’ve built at Boomerang. We have a group of curious, skilled and kind members who enjoy taking part in the workshops and activities we organize. Our sessions are light-hearted yet informative, and we encourage conversation among everyone who participates. What’s even more special are the bonds that our members build outside of our platform. The stories of friendships make us know we’re doing something special, and we welcome you to be a part of that.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.