The third week of January has often been labeled as the most depressing week of the year. The initial verve and optimism that comes with a new year have faded, holiday bills are coming in, and the rainy days seem here to stay.
This week is often known as starting with Blue Monday.
But how factual is Blue Monday? It turns out that Blue Monday is a theory backed by little research. As most of us know the feeling of sadness is often much more complex and can’t be reduced down to a specific day. That said, there are often times when the winter blues kick in and we don’t know what to do!
To help ease your winter blues we recommend treating each Monday like a new beginning and doing these 3 things at the beginning of each week:
1. Reassess your goals and set short-term tangible ones.
Find something small you can check off your list, or something big you can chip away at every week that helps you feel like you are ‘on top of 2018’.
Eg. With tax time fast-approaching, getting your bookkeeping organized and taxes filed should be on the top of your list! Although procrastination may be in your genes, by tackling your bookkeeping bit by bit, you can make things easier on yourself and your tax preparer.
2. Set An Exercise Schedule For The Week
Nothing beats the blues like building up some endorphins! There are many studies that show the positive effects exercise has on your mental health. Jennifer Carter, PhD and counseling and sport psychologist at the Center for Balanced Living in Ohio says that she will often recommend exercise for her psychotherapy clients, particularly for those who are anxious or depressed.
Our team has always found yoga an amazing stress reliever and a great way to improve your overall health. With so many wonderful yoga studios in the city, we recommend finding a great one near your office or home so it’s easier to stay motivated.
3. Meal Plan and Eat Well
During the winter months, it’s so easy to let your healthy eating go out the window. Comfort food is always WAY more appealing than a healthy diet. But according to research posted by the Mental Health Foundation maintaining a healthy diet is essential if you want to maintain good mental health. In Vancouver where the cloud coverage feels like it will never break be sure to also supliment you diet with Vitamin D.
While our top three recommendations are rocket science and are commonly known techniques for fighting off the winter blues we hope that this reminder will help you come out of the season in your best. shape. ever.
If you find that your winter blues are lasting for extended periods of time then please reach out to your family doctor or contact the Mental Health Helpline.