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Feeling a bit down?
Rumour has it that the third Monday of January is the ‘most depressing day of the year’. But in fact, we can all experience difficulty with our mental health at any time of the year. The science around a 'Blue Monday' is unconvincing but that doesn't make how you feel any less valid.
Blue Monday might not be a real thing, but poor mental health definitely is.
16 tips to prioritise your health and wellbeing
Blue Monday this year was on Jan 16th 2023, so we put together 16 tips that might help you prioritise your health and wellbeing; and ensure that you are able to take some time out today, or any day for that matter, to focus on you:
- Talk to someone who makes you feel safe. This could be family, a friend, a neighbour or a professional. Sometimes just a chat can make you feel much better.
- Work on your sleep routine. Sleep is important to wellbeing and structure can help. There’s nothing wrong with having a set bedtime!
- We can't expect miracles of ourselves. You're not a superhero, it’s hard to meet life's demands sometimes. On any given day, our best is enough, and our best is different on different days; that’s okay, that is normal.
- Celebrate your wins! Write down 3 things you've achieved today, even if that's 'just' getting out of bed, facing the day can be enough of an achievement.
- Just breathe. Breathe in slowly through the nose to the count of 3, then exhale through the mouth to the count of 6. (Be careful with breathing exercises is you’re pregnant or have health risks!)
- Blow away the cobwebs. Spend a bit of time outside for fresh air and daylight, and with the long nights, maybe consider if you are getting enough Vitamin D.
- Set some little goals for your day to help with sense of purpose. Water the plants, walk the dog, finish that jigsaw, whatever works for you.
- Eat regular and healthy meals to ensure your body is well fuelled. Finding the time to eat well can often be really difficult. If you have times when you're feeling well and enjoying preparing food, try making some extra meals to store.
- Try mindfulness apps on your phone, they can provide really useful techniques.
- Make a Mental Health First Aid Kit. Keep some of your favourite things in a box for the really rough days. Break out that good coffee, a feel-good book, the hidden chocolate, a face mask or craft kit to treat yourself, and maybe add details for Mental health helplines just in case.
- Make time for your favourite things, If something helps you relax, try to fit it into your day. Some people find art, walking, or a bath can help
- If you find that being on your phone or computer a lot is making you feel busier and more stressed, try to take a break. Give yourself a digital detox for an hour or so. (Be careful not to isolate yourself though!)
- Look after yourself. Self-care and hygiene, like brushing your teeth or having a shower can be hard sometimes, but it is important for your health and can help you feel better. If you’re really struggling, try to start small and work your way up, like freshening up with baby wipes or a chewable toothbrush.
- Try to avoid drugs and alcohol. You might feel like using drugs or alcohol to cope with any difficult feelings. But in the long run they can make you feel much worse. Mind has some helpful information on recreational drugs and alcohol
- Write yourself a love letter. When you're feeling good, think about what you would want to tell your future self if things get tough and you find you need more support. Reminding yourself of what's keeping you positive right now can help you through more difficult times in the future.
- Most importantly be kind to yourself, it's okay not to be okay.
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, don’t ignore it.
Find out more about mental health here: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/?_id=111Website