Today is often called Blue Monday.
It's because a British Psychologist called Cliff Arnall found that the third Monday in January is when we're most likely to feel blue (out of all the days in the year) in the UK. It falls on 21 January this year.
Aspects such as the weather (cold, grey, damp); the debt we find ourselves in after the holidays (Christmas presents, meals out, sales) and general low motivation (back to work) all contribute to the low feeling on this particular day.
If this is you then there are few things that might help you out.
Weather and dark nights getting you down?
Head out for a walk at lunchtime to get some sunshine and a much needed break during the day.
Even just a few minutes outside is better than nothing!
This gives you time outside when it's a bit lighter. Aim to build an outside walk in on most of your working days plus the weekend to keep topping up your 'sunshine' levels.
If you have a friend with a dog, then invite yourself along for a walk as studies have shown that stroking pets helps us to feel happier and calmer.
(If any my friends are reading this, then you're more than welcome to join us!)
You just knew that one was coming didn't you... Studies have also shown that exercise lifts mood. If you're not ready for a full on cardio or HIIT session then start off with a swim in the local pool, or a yoga video. (And yes, a dog walk counts too!)
Using apps such as Calm and Headspace can help you to challenge the negative self talk.
You can also try reframing techniques so that instead of seeing January as dark, cold and just plain horrible; it becomes a time to reflect and reset before the year gets going in full.
Be kind to yourself. In a few weeks, the days will be longer; the weather will warm up; daffodils will appear and you'll forget how miserable today is!
Face up to any debt you've incurred over Christmas. Plan how to manage it, and do seek help if you need it. Don't struggle on alone. Lots of options here so google for local services.
And if you can, please then look at how you can avoid getting into debt again next Christmas.
Having started my own business, my Christmas budget was very restricted this year. My friends and family understood why I was less generous financially (it kept me out of debt!). But having my 'new job' as a business owner meant I could choose to give them more of my time - which I think they appreciated!
I hate my job
You may well have gone back to work in January and found that your job still sucks. And you still want to leave.
Take a moment to reflect on what is good about your job and what you really don't like. Be specific. And be honest about whether you can make some tweaks to turn your current job into something more loveable.
You may still want to leave, but you'll have a better idea of 'why' and a better idea of what to look for next time. And if you can make some tweaks, it will give you more time in your job to find your perfect next step. (If you don't know your values, please message me for a Values Exercise to help you!)
And you're not alone, it's no coincidence that there is a surge of job adverts in January. So, the good news is that if you're set on job hunting then January is a great time to look around!
Note: Arnall is not describing depression with his Blue Monday study. If you have a persistent low mood then please seek medical help. Go and see your GP or access local mental health support - I've been there and done it! This is not a Blue Monday feeling so please seek support.