The 3rd Monday of every January is apparently known as "Blue Monday" - the saddest day of the year. Originally designated as part of a campaign to encourage people to book more travel, this phrase has caught on and you may have heard it the last couple of weeks. A mix of leftover Christmas debt, short winter days + lack of sunshine, and the fact a lot of us have fallen off the New Year's Resolutions wagon all were factors when pinning a date on Blue Monday.
While there isn't a lot of scientific research behind this day, there is a lot of research and merit to the fact many of Blue Mondays "requirements" are things a lot of us are dealing with. I know for myself, my mood takes a huge nosedive during January and February. Whether you are feeling the blues over the winter season in general or you find yourself feeling extra blue this Monday, here are a few ways to bring some internal sunshine to your day!
1. Laugh - A LOT!
I grew up with a lot of laughter - my Dad is the funniest person I know and has always found a way to laugh about most circumstances. I've really tried to adopt this in my own life and don't take myself too seriously. Life is SHORT, ya'll and there are very few things that warrant us to be stoic all the time. Research shows we are most like the 5 people we spend the most time with. Are you the most funny? Time to find a new friend! If you have a friend who can make you laugh, call them up or schedule some extra time to spend with them.
Podcasts are another great way to conjure a chuckle. I've recently started listening to The Popcast with Knox and Jamie and if you like pop culture, you are going to love these guys. They are hilarious!
If podcasts aren't your thing, maybe try a funny read. Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson is my favorite funny book. I laughed until I cried - her stories are so absurd but told with such tangible authenticity, I don't know how you couldn't not love it. Here are 34 more to choose from!
2. Work It Out
There are hundreds (probably more) studies that show one of the BEST ways to beat the blues is to get your sweat on! If you're feeling down, it's imperative you find something you really enjoy! Maybe that means getting out of the gym and going to a group fitness class (you can check out my schedule here.)
To break up the blues, I love to try something new - you might find a new workout you love and makes you feel refreshed in your fitness routine! Just a few options are at-home HIIT workouts, a barre class, a spin class, or yoga. If you get a peek of sunshine, getting outside will be the best way to get a smile on your face - take a brisk 20 minute walk or incorporate some running intervals (40 seconds sprint, 20 seconds walk) into your outdoor adventure. Have a dog? Get your four legged friend outside so both of you can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!
3. Have Something to Look Forward To
It's so important to have something to look forward to on a weekly basis. Building in a date night or brunch with the girls is like anything else you put down on your calendar that you commit to. Make it a standing event each week that gives you something to be excited about on those days when maybe things are looking a little down.
Starting that habit tomorrow on Blue Monday is the perfect opportunity. Grab your spouse, family or a friend and make it an impromptu, fun evening. If going out for dinner or drinks is off the table, plan something in. Remember, it's not about going out or spending lots of money - setting aside designated time to spend with those you love is what matters. You can have an at-home date with your spouse, learn a new game with your kids, or have a friend over for coffee and a simple, homemade dessert.
If you have your own ways to spark some inner sunshine, feel free to share them with me so I can share with others!