Monday 19th January was dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ and with the month full of long dark cold days, a Post-Christmas comedown, already failed new year resolutions and a constant countdown to payday for many it’s no wonder people are feeling down.
With a birthday in January and a lack of feeling for the cold I don’t come off too badly but here are some of the best things to do to perk up the rest of your month:
- Exercise. It may seem like a swear word but exercise really does make you feel better. I’ve kicked started my exercise and gym regime, and while I cry a little inside walking up to the leisure centre every time I feel great afterwards. This is with the minor exception of trying Metafit when my legs ached so bad that it hurt to sit down for a few days! Mixing up your routine is really good though, which is why i’m trying a new class every week to work out what I like. I know that the healthier I get, the better I’ll feel. The endorphin rush will certainly lift your mood, and if it doesn’t you won’t feel quite so guilty eating that chocolate afterwards!
- Plan a trip. Having things to look forward to is a fantastic boost, whether it’s holidays, theatre trips, days out or even just a trip to cinema; I know how much I love looking at my diary when it’s bursting full of fun things. I might have gone a little overboard and booked two holidays last week and I am pretty certain I don’t have a full free Saturday until the 25th April but it’s exciting. Now i’m out of retail I love being able to plan ahead because I always know when i’m going to be off.
- Listen to music. I know from a personal point of view whacking up the radio in my car and singing along (albeit badly) or doing the same thing in my flat (thank god I live alone!) instantly makes me feel better. So much research has been carried out stating that peoples moods were boosted when listening to upbeat music which is when my pop indulgences come out. An online survey at metrolyrics.com found that Wham’s ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ was considered the happiest song of all time. While I don’t agree, the idea is there. A little bit of Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy or McFly certainly does the trick for me.
- Laugh. Laughing is one of the best cures for feeling down as your body relaxes and feel-good endorphins are released into the blood stream. It even works with fake laughter as your body can’t tell the difference! Watch your favourite comedy show, search youtube for funny videos or just grab your mates and i’m sure laughter will be inevitable.
- Think of the positives. Something that I have got into the habit of doing is noting down three things which have gone well that day, from planning a trip to a good session at the gym or finishing my to do list. Download a free app called ‘Moments’ and it will allow you to note these things down and assign a picture. If i’m ever feeling a little down or just have no motivation to work I look through these and it makes me feel better.
Need a quick boost? Here are a few things which can leave you feeling positive:
- Walk taller. I have a bad habit of looking at the floor when i’m walking so just standing back and walking taller does strangely make things seem better.
- Buy a desk plant. It has been said workers with green plants rate themselves as happier, although i’d pick something like bamboo which doesn’t need much attention.
- Head outside. Yes it might be super cold but just 20 minutes outside in natural air is said to make you feel happier. Plus you’ll appreciate the heating more when you come inside.
- Deep breathing. Download the Headspace app for quick ten minute mini meditations; it’s amazing how good you’ll feel afterwards. The app is free on iPhone and Androids.
- Be positive. Think twice before you post a negative tweet or facebook status and think of the impact it might have on other people. Post something to make both yourself and others smile.
- Do a Taylor and shake it off. It might silly but put the song on and shake, it will not only trigger relaxation it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
- Drink green tea. This is another thing which i’ve pushed myself into doing as it drip feeds you caffeine to give you energy whilst at the same time relaxing you. This is pretty tough seeing as i’m not a tea drinker but i’ve found green tea with peppermint to be the nicest.
- Do something scary. Build up your confidence and stretch your tolerance, be it talking to a new person every day or going to a show on your own. The more you achieve, the better you’ll feel.
- Wake up earlier. Having enough sleep is a must (and something i’m guilty of not doing) but by waking up a little earlier in the morning you can start your day off better. You might not be rushing to get ready or skipping breakfast.