Top tips for battling the blues this Blue Monday

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Health Assured team

12 January 2022

We’re human. So it’s only natural that we feel the full range of human emotions. Quite unsurprisingly, we’re inclined to resist low mood and wish it away. Yet sometimes, this only perpetuates the emotions even further. The blues are a natural part of life. But there are steps we can take to make these times easier. With a little bit of self-awareness—we can recognise when our mood has dropped and guide ourselves back to contentment. The below tips will help you battle the blues this Blue Monday and beyond.

Recognise low moods when they arise

Step 1. To overcome low mood, we must first recognise when we’ve slipped into this state in the first place. Look out for these common symptoms:

  • Feeling sad
  • Being anxious or panicking
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Struggling to sleep
  • Feeling angry or frustrated
  • Low confidence and/or self-esteem

It might not always be clear what the cause of your low mood is. It could be in response to an event, physical issues or life changes. Sometimes even when things are going extremely well, a low mood can settle in. So it's important to try not to be too self-critical about why we feel this way. Treat yourself like you would a friend, with kindness, not criticism.

Get the basics covered

There are some fundaments our bodies and minds need to function properly. When don’t have the basics under control, it can profoundly affect our mental and emotional state. So what are these fundamentals? Well, you can probably take a good guess:

  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • A balanced diet
  • Social connection

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times before. But there’s a good reason for this. When we take care of our bodies, our mental health will improve dramatically.

Find time for things you enjoy

When we're battling the blues, it can take its toll on self-esteem and confidence levels. We can feel helpless and powerless to the things that happen to us. A good way to take back your power in these moments is by finding time for things you enjoy. Not only does it help to fuel a sense of joy and happiness, but it also helps you take back the power to regain control of your mood in the moment. Daily routines can be repetitive—so it’s good to intersperse time for the things you love regularly.

Mindfulness

The term mindfulness can sometimes ring alarm bells in people’s minds. If you aren’t familiar with mindfulness, the concept can sound daunting. But there are many different ways you can be mindful, and you might already be using some of them. When we’re in a state of low mood, these techniques can generate self-awareness, reduce physical tension and break negative thought cycles. Next time you find yourself feeling low try one of the mindfulness techniques below:

  • Focus on your in-breath and out-breath
  • Feel your feet on the ground. If you’re walking, focus on the feeling of your legs moving.
  • Take in your surroundings. Focus on things you can touch, taste, smell, hear and see.
  • Relax your body. Release any tension in your neck, back, jaw and forehead.

Find yourself struggling with low mood often?

Low moods can vary in intensity and frequency. If you feel your moods are negatively affecting your life, it might help to talk to a GP or medical professional. They can help you access a range of support services and offer guidance for tackling frequent low moods.

If you feel extremely low and you don’t have anyone around you to confide in, there are other services available out there. Local NHS services and the Samaritans are amazing resources to reach out to if you’re struggling.

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