How to brighten up your Blue Monday in 2021
In 2005 a psychologist for Sky Travel created a formula to determine the saddest day of the year – due to bad weather, dark nights, post-Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions this was deemed the third Monday in January and was named Blue Monday.
January can be a difficult month – especially this year in lockdown and it is important to reflect on our mood, self-care and stress levels to ensure that we are able to offer the best of ourselves to the people and communities we work with.
Within Salford Diocese and the Caritas Schools’ Service we have altered this to Blue Monday; Brew Monday and we have come up with a few ideas for brightening up your day.
Blue Monday; Brew Monday
Blue Monday; Brew Monday is all about connection with those around us. Connecting with others helps us to express ourselves and feel part of a community. This can lesson feelings of isolation, sadness and stress.
Ideas that we have come up with include taking some planned time for connecting, reflecting and gratefulness within your day. You could organise a planned time for a virtual online coffee/tea/soft drink break within your work community and take some time to talk and listen to each other.
Depending on your work environment this could be extended to a virtual shared lunch. Many people in January think about having a health kick and part of Blue Monday can be feeling disappointed if we have cheated or fallen off track with our new year resolutions. Think about how you can promote health and wellbeing within your “shared” activities. Ideas include sharing some great recipe ideas or celebrating small resolution achievements.
To take this further you could use some of your Blue Monday; Brew Monday time to go for a walk as part of your allowed daily exercise during lockdown. Often we retreat from the cold outdoors in January, but a brisk walk in the fresh air can do wonders for our emotional wellbeing and is also a great way to stay active. Recently there has been an emphasis on the importance of Vitamin D. Often we start and finish work during dark hours in January so making some time in the day for a walk, whatever the weather could be a great boost and provide us with some much needed daylight.
Mindfulness and meditation is a great way for us to connect with our bodies and to reflect on how we are feeling. For more information on mindfulness and how it can help, follow this link to the NHS
website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/ Another great way to focus on self-care on Blue Monday; Brew Monday is to spend some time taking notice of yourself and your surroundings. This could be in a planned visualisation with colleagues online or it may be an opportunity for you to take some time for yourself. Some people may choose to use this time for prayer and connection with their faith.
Blue Monday; Brew Monday is our way in the Caritas Schools’ Service to change a negative in to a positive to remind us that we are fortunate and grateful for small things in our lives and to give us some focus on positive activities that can help us to feel reenergised and focused. Why not try to brighten up your Blue Monday?