The third Monday of January is known as Blue Monday because with the colder weather and darker and shorter days, it’s very common for people to be feeling the winter blues.
If you’ve been feeling more tired or down than normal, know that you’re not alone. Many people struggle to stay cheerful during the winter months. When the winter blues do hit, it’s important to focus on the positive and do activities that bring you joy. That’s why we’ve created this list of 10 ways you can stay cheerful this Blue Monday!
1. Get some sunshine
One of the main reasons people experience low mood and energy levels in the winter is because of reduced exposure to natural light. Sunlight has a big impact on your physical and mental health. Spending time in the sun will increase vitamin D, melatonin, and serotonin levels, which all are important for helping support mood. This is why going outside to soak in the sun is so important. If you have lots of windows in your home, making sure you get enough sun today will be easy. Minto Communities’ North Oak condos at Oakvillage feature biophilic design principles that allow for ample natural light, which helps to boost mood and energy and support residents’ psychological health. Another great way to take in more natural light on those darker days is with a light therapy lamp, which mimics outdoor light.
2. Go for a walk
Although it may be cold today, you may want to try going for a walk to improve your mood. Even just a 15 minute stroll outside can do wonders to cheer you up. Walking is a great way to get in some light exercise and increase blood flow to the brain. As a bonus, getting some fresh air and spending time outside will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
3. Make a gratitude list
What better way to focus on the positive today than by writing it down? Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can improve mental health and overall well-being. When you make a habit of giving thanks, you’re training your brain to be happier and develop more positive thought patterns.
4. Call a loved one
If there’s anything that these past few years have taught us, it’s the power of connection. Social connection greatly affects well-being, so when you’re feeling isolated and alone, one of the best things you can do is lean on someone you love. Saying what’s on your mind and talking about your feelings with someone you trust will make you feel supported and understood. Chances are a friend or family member may also be feeling down in the dumps today as well and appreciate your call just as much.
5. Take a bath
Grab a glass of wine, light some candles, pour the bubbles, and settle in for a nice, relaxing bath today. Taking a bath is an instant mood booster. A hot bath is the perfect way to pamper yourself, destress, and soothe your muscles. To elevate your bath, you can also add in some essential oils. Different essential oils can be used as aromatherapy to invoke different feelings. To stimulate relaxation, try a scent like lavender. To boost mood, jasmine is a nice option.
6. Move your body
We all know that regular exercise helps to support mental health. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins, which are known as the happiness hormones, so try to set aside time today to take an online fitness or yoga class. That being said, moving your body doesn’t necessarily have to mean working out. If you don’t feel like working out today, you can even turn on your favourite tunes and have a dance party at home. Any form of physical activity that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing will also help boost your mood.
7. Have a cup of tea
Not only have certain teas been seen to have calming effects on the body and mind, but the act of drinking tea itself can also put you in a better mood. Sipping on a warm cup of tea is a great way to practice mindfulness as it encourages you to slow down. Pour yourself your favourite tea, cuddle up on the couch, and allow yourself to be present in the moment.
8. Buy yourself flowers
Getting flowers is always a lovely and thoughtful gift, so why not gift them to yourself? Brightening up your home with a colourful and beautiful arrangement will not only put a smile on your face; it will also breathe some life and vibrancy into your home during these darker months.
9. Make a vision board
The new year is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby and set goals for your health and happiness. Making a vision board is a fun way to set these intentions and visualize your hopes and dreams. Vision boards will also give you something to look forward to when you’re feeling down. Once you’re done with your vision board, you can put it up somewhere noticeable or set it as your phone background to act as a positive reminder of what you’re working towards.
10. Watch a funny show
Sometimes the best way to stay cheerful on hard days is by curling up with a blanket and watching a funny show. Immersing yourself in an entertaining show will take your mind off things, encouraging you to unwind and decompress. Laughter truly is the best medicine!