Tips for dealing with 'Blue Monday'

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Health Assured team

22 December 2017

  With January approaching and with most people returning to work, ‘Blue Monday’ will be upon us. This falls on the third Monday of January every year and will be on 15th January in 2018. It was found to be the most depressing day of the year by Dr Cliff Arnall, who identified that the weather, debt, time elapsed since Christmas, and unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions all caused this date to be the most depressing. However, some believe 'Blue Monday' to be a myth as Arnall was paid to do the research by a travel company, and because there is no scientific evidence to prove that any one calendar date is more depressing than any other.

Combating the blues

There does seem to be some truth in Arnall's theory, as no doubt we have all felt the blues soon after the festive period. It can feel overwhelming to go back to the workday week after time off. However, there are a number of things you can do to combat these blues, both at work and at home. Have something to look forward to. The wave of social gatherings at Christmas suddenly stopping after New Year's Eve can make things going 'back to normal' feel low. To combat this, make it so that you have something to look forward to in January, for example scheduling lunch with a friend. You can even try scheduling something in every Monday, so that you will have something on to look forward to if you ever feel the Monday blues after the weekend. Avoid the debt. Christmas is a time of giving and receiving, but a lot of the gifts we give can end up causing debt. Although it can be difficult to avoid spending at Christmas, try to avoid buying items that you do not need throughout the year. This will mean that you could save money all through the year, and when Christmas comes around you'll naturally spend less and avoid the debt for January. Declutter. With the new year approaching, it is a great time to do an early spring clean. By avoiding buying items that you do not need, you can start to avoid clutter, and you can also declutter by getting rid of the items that you do not need or use. There are many books that can help you with decluttering, including Marie Kondo's ''The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up'. Have sustainable resolutions throughout the year. New Year's resolutions never seem to last, so instead set resolutions throughout the year. If the resolution isn't working out, then perhaps think of a new one that is more sustainable or choose a date to go back to the resolution. Get enough sleep and wake up early. Getting enough sleep will ensure you feel well rested after time off, so try going to bed earlier on Sunday nights. You can even wake up a little early on Monday mornings to make going back easier, as then you will not rush and have the opportunity to have some time for yourself.   We hope these tips help you to combat any blues you may be feeling. It is also important to note that the blues are not a heavy or dark mood that goes unchanged for weeks at a time – if you are having feelings like this, then we would recommend you contact our helpline number (0844 8922 493) to speak to one of our counsellors.

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