You've likely heard of "Blue Monday", but may not be sure exactly what it means. The third Monday of every January is known as the gloomiest day of the year, due to a combination of cold dark nights, and post-Christmas blues mixed with over-spending and financial worry. Here are 3 ways you can boost your mental health and steer clear of Blue Monday and an overall winter funk:
Limit Screen Time
Have you been doom scrolling a bit too much these days? It definitely won't help your mental wellness, and while we may be used to having unlimited information at our fingertips, taking a focused break away from phones and social media can be a really wonderful thing. A recent study found that people are spending a staggering 6.4 hours on their phones every day -- on top of staring at screens while working and watching TV. Not only does this distract us from important things we could be doing, it also provides us with unrealistic expectations and endless negativity. Try putting your phone away for 1-2 hours at a time, and make a note of how you feel afterwards.
Many of us struggle to really get into book, and who can blame us - the human attention span as dropped to just eight seconds! To help yourself get lost in a great story, try starting with a shorter novel that is considered light reading. We have some fantastic picks in our Book Club that you may want to check out. When you start reading and getting into the habit of opening a book before reaching for your phone, you will gradually reach for more complex and in-depth book choices.
The world can seem especially dreary sometimes, as the days get shorter, the nights get colder, and there are many world issues weighing on our minds. It's easy to take our surroundings for granted, but taking the time to notice the little things could lead to stolen moments of joy in the most everyday scenarios. Going for a walk? Take notice of what you see and hear; smile at those who pass you by. Do you love listening to music? Rediscover some old tunes that will help you feel nostalgic for happy days and youthful moments. Make it a point to find small wonders and really notice the joy that they can bring you.