January 15 is Blue Monday also known as the most depressing day of the year. Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher at University of Cardiff’s Center for Lifelong Learning, devises a formula that uses a variety of emotional and stress factors, to proclaim January 15 to be the most depressing day of the year in 2018. To make things worse, studies show that there are more heart attacks on Mondays than any other day of the week.
What factors determine that today is the most depressing day of the year?
- Light: Low light levels and bad weather combine to create Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Bills Due: Holiday bills are hitting the mailbox and debt becomes more apparent
- Resolutions: Many New Year’s resolutions are already broken
- No Hope: People have low motivational levels and a feeling of need to take action
Snap Out of It!
Below are some great tips to help you through the most depressing day of the year and these gloomy winter days
- Lighten Up: Research suggests shedding light on yourself with a light therapy box is one of the most effect treatments for SAD. Light therapy artificially replaces the sunlight hours lost during the shorter days of winter. There are many types of light therapy, so check with your doctor and Google your options to find the right light for you.
- Walk It Off: Do not underestimate the effectiveness of exercise. Take a daily walk around the block, around the office, or up and down the stairs. Get a buddy system with a close friend. Hold each other accountable to get out of bed and get moving every day. Studies show exercise produces endorphins that improve your mood.
- Eat Mood Food: Food is medicine. Food changes your mood. Eating breakfast sets your metabolism and regulates your mood for the day. Eat foods rich in Omega 3’s, 1-3 grams-a-day, to reduce depression, but check with your doctor first. Keep B6 foods around to help the body produce serotonin, which can decrease in the winter. Grab a banana, eat a turkey or tuna sandwich or munch on some sunflower seeds.
- Chase It Away: Practicing research supported renewal rituals during your day can help chase the gloom away. Do a “5 Minute Renewal Ritual,” to renew your mind and body such as a few yoga stretches in your chair at work, go online and do a short meditation to grow your brain, go to your favorite game site and play a quick word game to build some neurons, listen to your favorite music to increase your serotonin production, or email a friend you love to produce oxytocin.