Thought up by psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, Blue Monday, the third Monday in January is believed to be the day that we feel sad due to a number of variables including debt, failed New Year’s resolutions, the weather and low levels of motivation.
However, it’s important that we look at the positive things in life in order to help us feel happy and content. For that reason, why not turn Blue Monday its head? Here are several reasons to feel more positive about ‘Blue’ Monday.
The colour blue is the most popular in the world and has wellbeing benefits too.
Blue is believed to be the most popular colour in the world amongst both men and women. This isn’t surprising when research suggests that the colour blue can be beneficial to both the mind and body. The colour blue is associated with tranquillity and can slow the human metabolism to produce a calming effect. Each time you see the colour blue today, enjoy it and reap the benefits!
Enjoy the blue sky (or even grey) to help boost Serotonin levels.
Light boosts serotonin which promotes feelings of positivity and happiness. Some people find that that low light in winter can lead to low energy levels and low mood. Getting outdoors today for 10-20 minutes on your lunch break will help make a difference – even on a dull day light intensity is greater outside than it is indoors.
Listening to the ocean can enhance sleep and relaxation.
Going to bed thinking of a clear blue ocean with waves gently lapping the shore is a simple meditation technique that can help enhance relaxation and sleep. The sound of ocean waves is also popular choice for soothing sounds to relax the mind and help you drift away. Why not give it a go this evening to help you relax and unwind.
Open up the conversation about mental health and wellbeing.
It’s important to remember that Blue Monday isn’t scientifically proven. It is however, a good opportunity to open up the conversation around Mental Health and that’s a real positive.
Stress Awareness Month and has been held every year since 1992 and has become increasingly prominent over the years, as reports show that the number of people struggling with stress has continued to rise. During this awareness period, health care professionals and experts aim to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.’ http://stressawarenessmonth.com
Stress is not only affecting daily lives, but it has a huge impact in the workplace too as HSE states;
526,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.
12.5 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
In addition, presenteeism is also on the rise, leaving employees unmotivated, tired or stressed at work. This naturally affects productivity resulting in additional costs for employers.
The question on everyones lips is what can we do about it?
It’s important to remember that everyone is individual and stress is unique to each person. A situation that feels stressful to one person, may be motivating to someone else. Similarly, the ways in which we deal with stress also differs. It is a necessity to learn how deal with your own level of stress effectively and in a healthy manner. Sometimes our automatic responses aren’t the healthiest and you should bear this in mind. Negative behaviours as a result of stress can include smoking, drinking in excess, compulsive spending and emotional eating.
Making positive steps to manage stress:
When you’re feeling stressed it’s important to understand what the route cause could be. Try keeping a diary over a set period of time to identify any situations that cause you most stress. Understanding how you respond is also important, so jot down your thoughts and feelings, as well as any other key information you remember about the people and circumstances.
Develop Healthy Responses
As previously discussed, there are a number of common responses that can have a negative effective on stress and can potentially lead to health problems. Activities such as Yoga can help combat stress, with many other forms of sports and fitness activities also proving beneficial. Sleep also plays a vital part of an effective stress management. Healthy sleep patterns can be enhanced by turning off your electrical devices on an evening, and limiting caffeine intake.
Take Time Out to Recharge
In a challenging 24 hour world with pressure apparent in most professions, it is essential to establish and effective work-life balance. Try setting yourself work-life boundaries, such as turning off your mobile after a set time and setting aside parts of your week for focused family time. By doing so you can reduce work-life conflicts. This practice will also help you to be in the present moment, either at work or at home. Ensure that you take those well deserved holiday days and switch off from work, so that on your return you are re-energised and left feeling relaxed.