So today, the third Monday of January is officially known as ‘Blue Monday’. Why Blue? Well nope, it’s not the naughtiest day of the year (although that might perk us up a little!), nor is it the day when the music genre gets a special little appreciation! Nope — it’s often thought of as the day that the entire nation is as a collective, the most unhappy.

What with Christmas now feeling like an eternity ago, it’s freeeeeezing outside, our Dry January and Veganuary attempts have fallen in favour of a JD and coke (or a few!) and a cheeky kebab (on the way home, surely!). Or, if not, they may feel like they’re hanging by a thread, one pissy traffic jam too many or the waft of Maccy Ds as we saunter down the street. And let’s not forget that it seems like an etteeeeernity until our bank balances get a little cash injection!

It’s not all blue!

Let’s not let Blue Monday to get us down! Let’s brighten ourselves up with some cheer, positive reinforcement and ideas to pick us all up. 

Even if our New Year’s resolutions, Dry January or Veganuary plans haven’t quite seen us through to the end of the month, let’s be kind to ourselves, knowing that we can still give ourselves the well-deserved, important time for self-care, as well as set realistic goals to achieve what we want to in 2020 and beyond. 

Let’s give ourselves a January (and rest of the year) pick me up! 

? Read a book…that one that’s been sitting on your shelf that you can’t wait to read or an old-time classic favourite. Or, peruse a bookstore and have a browse at your next must-read title. 

?️Light some tea lights and relax — better still if they have a gorgeous scent. 

?‍♂️ Go and meet up with a friend and have a good-ol’ natter, putting the world to rights and catching up on laugh-out-loud memories. 

?  Nibble on your favourite food! Or, cook or bake yourself and a friend a great meal from your must-have cuisine. Italian on a Monday, Thai on a Tuesday, American on a Wednesday! And it’s a well-travelled week for your belly! Or, if you’re not the best cook (like me!), boiled eggs on toast do just the job!  I find making some dough is super relaxing! 

? Head somewhere green! Enjoy nature….your local park or a slow walk along the canal are personal faves!  

? Get those endorphins pumping around your body with some exercise….Zumba, yoga, a jog around the park (combining the greenery and exercise options for double points!)…let those feel-good hormones be free! 

? Enjoy a few minutes for you with some meditation or mindfulness. This is one that I’ve dipped in and out of for years, and although I find it difficult to switch off in the moment (as my untrained brain wants to go rogue!), it reminds me to try and giving myself 3 mins to do nothing seriously helps!

? Write something, anything. What you’re feeling in a journal styleee entry, what you’re doing/eating/working on, what you’re happy about and grateful for today. Writing your feelings down on paper can help you to see them from afar, and can also spark a bit of creativity! 

? Love yourself and get that treat you’ve been thinking about. It’s a bit of a catch 22 because we don’t want our bank accounts screaming out a huge “nooooo!” after a big Topshop splurge or impromptu jewellery buy. But what about a face mask, your favourite magazine or some cosy super-fluffy socks! Can do wonders!

? A box of all your favourite things! I’ve put one of these together this year and dip into it whenever I’m feeling blue. It’s got a pair of fluffy socks (got to give them a second mention!), a blanket, my fave choccie treat, some uplifting films, a colouring book and colourful pencils, lavender spray and an eye mask, some headphones to remind me to drift off into another world with music! And the best bit, I’ve covered the box in Disney princess wrapping paper. It just had to be done :). 

Happy Monday! Here’s to a fabulous 2020!