How to Cope with Blue Monday

How to Cope with Blue Monday

How to Cope with Blue Monday

According to the media, the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year, when the Winter Blues are really likely to kick in, often brought on by the additional festive kilos, large credit card bills, and aggravated by the inclement weather.  Days are short and Summer seems a long way off.  On top of this, the news is quite gloomy with industrial unrest, the war in Ukraine, and the cost of living crisis.  Not surprisingly, anxiety levels are quite high and people are struggling with uncertainty fatigue.

In addition, one in three people in the UK suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD syndrome, which is a form of depression brought on by the onset of the dark nights and cold weather during the Winter months.  Added to this there was already a ‘Loneliness Epidemic’ and Mental Health Crisis even before Covid-19 ravaged the world.

But enough of the gloom and doom!  Who says it’s Blue Monday?  The key is to have hope: the blossom is starting to bloom in sheltered parts of the garden and the days are lengthening!

So how can you cope better today?  Again, by taking some basic, common-sense action:

1.Stamp out your Negative Voice  or Inner Critic when it starts nagging you for putting on so much weight or spending too much money over the past few weeks.  You wouldn’t criticise someone else as much as you do yourself, so be kind to yourself as well as to others.

2. Unplug your phone, give the news and social media a rest, wrap up warm, and get out in to nature, as fresh air and exercise are proven mood boosters.

3. If walking in the frost or rain doesn’t work for you, then do an exercise class and get a friend to join too for extra motivation.  The key is to find something that works for you and that you can fit in to your schedule.

4. Stop stressing about the FOMO.  If you unplug from Facebook and Instagram for a while and concentrate on your own plans, rather than wishing you were someone else or somewhere else, you’re more likely to achieve your goals and be more satisfied and happier. 

5. Writing your Bucket List and making plans of what you’re going to do with friends and family in warmer weather can also help as you have positive events to look forward to.

6. At the same time as planning ahead, it’s also important to enjoy the present, being mindful and grateful for the small things in life and finding the positives every day.

7. Find out how much leave you have accumulated, divide the year up into chunks to use up your leave, allowing a couple of days for emergencies, then book a holiday/staycation/mini break every few months when you can to avoid burnout.

8. Remember that nothing lasts forever, so no matter how bad things seem today, chances are they will improve.  Talking to a trustworthy friend and taking little steps to solve problems makes you feel like you are achieving something, and you can start to become more positive.  So, if your bank balance looks unhealthy, work out a plan to get back on track, or contact a financial adviser to help out.

9. Focus on a new project, whether it’s learning a new language or how to play the guitar, or just taking up yoga again! 

10. Keep building your Resilience skills and developing your coping mechanisms and personal strategies so that you are better able to deal with any change, setbacks, or challenges. 

‘Thank you for listening to my rants about the poor start to the New Year and all the challenges.  You helped me to see the opportunities amongst the issues and I’ve transferred that positivity to the Sales team with some new initiatives. We’re back on track and super-motivated!’ VP Sales

About Jill Maidment

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