Blue Monday is always held on the third Monday of January, but why is it seen as the saddest day of the year?
In Gemma's blog, which compliments her blog from last year, January - is it really the most depressing time of the year?, she looks into the how's, why's, what's of Blue Monday and also some top tips on how to get through these dark winter days.
So, grab the Horlicks, a blanket, stick the fire on snuggle down for an inspirational and motivational read.
Why do we have Blue Monday?
Blue Monday was the birth child originally of Sky Travel, back in 2005, who claimed to have developed an equation that takes into account weather conditions, debt level, time passed since Christmas and motivational levels.
The equation was published in the Sky Travel press release under the name of Cliff Arnall, who at the time was linked to Cardiff University.
Is Blue Monday real or a fad?
Make of this what you will, but it can be easy to see why Blue Monday could be real, based upon the factors mentioned above. January can be tough, the worsening of weather and the tightening of purse strings after over indulging during the festive period, January can seem 'blue' indeed. In fact many people suffer from a decrease in mood and feel more lethargic. For a thirds of adults a shortage of daylight can cause symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at this time of year, from low energy levels to anxiety.
However, think about this carefully. Weather conditions around the world differ from place to place. Australia is in the peak of Summer, whilst Great Britain battles with snow and ice, making this something that only countries in the Northern Hemisphere are familiar with and I don't know about you, but I always feel better when the sun is shining!
It's also interesting to know that Cardiff University have disregarded this research and that Arnall himself now campaigns against Blue Monday because of the bad press it receives.
In 2018 Arnall was interviewed by a national paper reporting that it was "never his intention to make the day sound negative", but rather "to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions". and it's this statement that is the most powerful when developing a more growth orientated approach with your mindset.
Blue Monday and our Mindset
I've talked about this before, and our strap line is, "What you think, you will become." Our thoughts play and incredibly important role in how we behave and how we feel, so it's important that we try and work on our thoughts to break this seemingly negative cycle before we get consumed by them.
With the current global pandemic, many are struggling to cope with this, as well as the bleakness of the winter months. This year, although strapped to the promise of a brighter more positive time, has begun with an incredible difficult and uncertainty for many.
Even here, the team at Grow Your Mindset, has had those moments when life feels damn hard. We're only human and this is our natural response, to protect ourselves, to withdraw when things are tough, but notice these moments, embrace them and reflect on what you can can can't control and commit to making a positive change.
Our thoughts aren't the only thing that matters though, we can't just think our way through, there are other things we can do to help us.
How can I get through the winter months?
We all love some top tips don't we? So, I'm bringing you 6 little nuggets for you to try if you are finding things a little tricky at the moment.
1) Physical Activity: This doesn't need to be big Joe Wicks style, it could be a walk in the local area or even a spot of home gardening. The point is, to get up and moving for some part of you day.
2) Relaxation: Relaxation is personal to each individual. It could be taking a bath, reading a book or hobby. Whatever it is, it's an opportunity for you to concentrate and focus on something that allows you to feel calm and rested.
3) Gratitude: Gratitude isn't just about thanking or giving to others, its about personal reflection too. What are you grateful for? Keeping a journal is a great way to document this. I try and write a few things down before I go to bed, reflecting on the positives of my day.
4) Daylight: As I mentioned before, the sun always makes me feel better and even though it can be bitterly cold outside, we can still benefit from the suns rays. Opening curtains, trimming back garden tree branches or simply joining your physical exercise to this and getting out and about can make all the difference.
5) Spiritual: No I'm no meditating buddha, but I do find affirmations useful to remind me on where my thoughts should be. Other people use breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness to help them. here are lots of guides online that can be downloaded for free. Give them a try.
6) Maintain connections: I know this isn't easy with the current situation we find ourselves in, but never before have we been able to stay so connected with people with all our smart technology. Video calls, online quizzes or even a good old fashioned phone call, doesn't take long, but can really lift you mood.
We're here to help
As always Grow Your Mindset have a wealth of knowledge and can support you. Our 1:1 coaching is ideal if you want to spend some personalised time, to solve your frustrations and make positives changes to your life both personally and professionally.
We offer advice to allow you feel less negative, more motivated and understand your emotions better. This enables you to make positives choices and supported in doing so too.
Throughout January, anyone booking 5 x 1 hour coaching sessions with us will be entitled to 21% off our usual total price of £200.
Feel free to get in touch if you want to know more!
If you love a good read, why don't you check out our other blogs about mindsets.
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