Blue Monday is over everyone! For those of you who don’t know what Blue Monday is, apparently, it’s the most depressing day of the year. Post-holiday blues, combined with debt from Christmas, going back to work, exams, crap weather, the guy in the library sitting opposite you sniffing every 30 seconds…oh and just to add insult to injury, most of us have failed at our New Year’s resolution already. It all adds up to a totally crap day. Yet whilst Blue Monday is over, not everyone is feeling better. Clinical depression, as well as other mental illnesses, do not take into consideration the day of the year and turn ‘Blue Monday’ into Blue Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday and so on…
So, here are your Top 3 Tips of how to get you through those low moments – no matter what day it is!
Tip 1: Get out the house/flat
When life has you down try your best to get outside and to have a normal day. You might want to stay in bed and just watch Netflix all day. However, getting out and about for 30 minutes can make everything seem more bearable. Mead et al (2009) found that some form of exercise had huge benefits at countering negative thoughts. This won’t stop all those negative feelings but you’ll feel more able to deal with them one you’ve had a good walk (Even if it is cold outside).
Tip 2: Re-start your New Year’s resolution
You promised yourself (and everyone else) that you would; go to the gym three times a day, stop drinking, and go to the library every day. Well, you slipped up. You haven’t gone the gym yet, you had a night out and got wavy, and the library hasn’t seen you since your exams ended. But don’t give up. Even the most hardened athlete has a day off. Give yourself a break and be kind to yourself. 2016 is a marathon not a sprint, you might not have had the best start but we have over 11 months of this year left. Stop viewing your slip ups as failures and instead view them as lessons you can use to learn and grow from.
Tip 3: Tell people how you feel.
Sometimes people just want to be by themselves when they feel down. However, whilst you may think that being by yourself is all well and good, going out and seeing your mates might make the world of difference. Sometimes, when we feel down, we forget how great just sitting and talking to people can be. Even if you don’t want to leave the house, just calling someone and saying you’re having a really awful day can make everything a little more bearable. A study in 2010 found that people who open up about their feelings and express themselves handle their negative emotions more positively. It can be hard to admit that you feel rubbish, especially when there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason for it, but just saying to people ‘today has been a bit meh’ can take a huge weight of your shoulders. Don’t suffer in silence, open up to someone.
There we have it, our top three tips on how to get though rubbish days. Everyone handles feeling low differently so don’t take anyone else’s tips as gospel. But remember, if life gets you down, you’re not alone. Call your friends, family or if you need Leeds Nightline, then the phone lines are open from 8pm until 8am every night of term including weekends. Reach them on: 0113 380 1381 for free and confidential advice.
Aaron Macarthy Beards