Yikes! Tomorrow is Blue Monday…
Personally, I like the winter (and I live in Canada) 😛 The hearty warming foods, cool, brisk and bright days, staying cosy and warm inside – I even like the early evenings and I love snow. Plus, it really helps me to appreciate the long warm summer days. I suppose it’s because I like winter that this whole Blue Monday thing doesn’t resonate with me.
For those of you have haven’t heard of Blue Monday, it’s supposedly the worst day of the year as far as mood is concerned.
What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday is calculated using a series of not particularly scientific mathematical formulas including:
- The weather
- Debt level (the difference between debt and our ability to pay the debt)
- The amount of time since Christmas (3rd Monday after Christmas)
- Failing our New Year’s resolutions
- Low motivation
Origins of the Day
Blue Monday was conceived by a PR company in the U.K. Cliff Arnall, a former university professor was commissioned by a travel agency in 2005 to find the most depressing day of the year as a way to help market winter vacations.
It wouldn’t be scientifically possible to identify any one day as
the worst day of the year.
The winter months specifically post holiday season can be a difficult time for a lot of people. Many suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and this is no laughing matter.
Shake off the Winter Blues
- Get outside, yes it may be cold and miserable out there, but there’s something quite lovely about a brisk walk outdoors followed by something warm to eat or drink.
- Skip coffee in the morning and enjoy a cup of green tea. It contains theanine, an amino acid that helps to calm the mind. Plus green tea also contains polyphenols. These powerful antioxidants can also boost the availability of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to create positive mood states.
- If the idea of staying away from coffee is totally depressing– then you can always try a brain boosting “Bullet Proof Coffee”. Filled with good fats and our brains LOVE FAT! Click HERE for my favourite recipe.
- Eat your greens! A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that eating more fruits and vegetables can boost your happiness as much as going from being unemployed to employed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults eat between 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day, but to boost your mood, you will probably have to eat more than that. An easy way is to make sure that ½ your dinner plate is made up of colourful veggies.
- Studies show that eating probiotic foods can change the intestinal microbiota in the gut which can positively influence mood. The gut-brain connection impacts anxiety and depression. Probiotic foods include naturally fermented (without vinegar) sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, miso, kimchi and kefir.
- The Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba, Canada, says that symptoms of SAD can be treated with light therapy. Therapy lamps can be purchased for the home or office. Sitting near full-spectrum fluorescent lights with a brightness of 10,000 lux for 20 – 30 minutes per day can help to improve mood.
No matter how you feel about whether Blue Monday is really a thing or not – it can be a good idea to incorporate mood enhancing strategies year round.
Click on the image below for more for more brain boosting tips:
In good health!