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How to Deal with Blue Monday, and Any Other Blue Day
21st January marks Blue Monday this year - a date that is predicted to be one of the most depressing days of the year. A combination of post-Christmas bills, the abandonment of New Year resolutions, low sunlight levels and cold weather is predicted to leave people feeling extremely dark and low. And it’s not surprising really!
But what if Blue Monday doesn’t have to be so blue? Rebel against Blue Monday! Lift your spirits by prioritising your wellbeing, and this might even help you get back on track with your health intentions for the year. Here are some products that might help you on this quest.
Maca is also known as its nickname, Peruvian Ginseng, despite the fact that it doesn’t belong to the ginseng botanical family. This root is best known to aid in energy and libido, and is often added to smoothies, juice and shakes and as an ingredient in chocolate and coffee. A fermented beverage called ‘Maca Chica’ is made in Peru. It has many other uses, for example, the whole maca root is often added to soup and oatmeal. It is also roasted to be eaten as a vegetable.There are claims that maca can improve depression and combined with increased energy levels, you could wake up feeling great on Blue Monday! A 2015 study published in Climacteric found significant decreases in depression and diastolic blood pressure compared to those taking a placebo. The group the study focused on was postmenopausal women, who took maca for six weeks.
Rose Petal Oil
The scent of Rose Petal Oil is known to be therapeutic, soothing and uplifting. Perfect for when you’re feeling a bit blue! It has skincare benefits like anti-inflammatory and softening properties to make your skin glow. And glowing skin will make it a lot easier for your mood to soar!
Allow your skin to feel moisturised by applying this oil after your usual moisturiser. Rose Petal Oil has soothing and hydrating properties for skin cells to be revitalised. It can sooth irritated and red skin. It has a warm and sensuous scent that can uplift any Monday, whether it’s a blue one or not! Who said it was Blue Monday?
Ashwagandha is a woody shrub from the nightshade family that holds a great amount of healing power. It has been used in Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine, for centuries, but it has an extensive list of proven health benefits.
When it comes to Blue Monday, taking ashwagandha consistently each day may help calm anxiety and stress by reducing cortisol levels in the body. It may also help in the healing of both chronic and adrenal fatigue, replenishing over-worked adrenals and relieving exhaustion. Reduced anxiety and a nourished
nervous system encourages a deeper, better quality of sleep. Experts recommend that ashwagandha is great for those who are chronically tired and/or stressed, or suffering from stress-related exhaustion. Ashwagandha may also promote mental clarity and memory, and many people who take it report these benefits.
The herb is a powerful antioxidant that is also anti-microbial. It has been shown in studies to potentially protect brain cells from stress and free radical degeneration. And a greater mental clarity can help to elevate your productivity and spirits on an otherwise miserable Monday morning!
St John’s Wort Tincture
Herbalists recommend St John’s Wort to gain a whole host of benefits, but it’s most well-known for treating depression. St John’s Wort is obtained from a plant with bright, vivid yellow flowers that when crushed releases a beautiful reddish purple oil.
Whilst recent research has explored its use for depression, the plant has been used traditionally as a tonic for the nervous system for its ultimate balance and nourishment. The balance of the nervous system is vital for the health and function of every part of the physical body, including the effects that short term and long term effects that stress can have on the body.
Other Ways to Uplift your Mood On Blue Monday and Beyond
Keep your spirits high with these practical tips to feel good right now.
- Practice gratitude
It has been said that writing down simple things that you’re grateful for each day can be life-changing for our mood and outlook on life. It can change your mood from dismal to divine in a matter of seconds. If it has been recommended by the likes of Oprah, then there must be some truth in it!
There have been many studies conducted on the many benefits of practising gratitude, including improved sleep, self-esteem, mental strength, empathy, and reduced aggression. Research suggests that gratitude can change your brain, so it has great potential for drastically improving our mental health. This interesting talk by Professor of Psychology, Robert Emmons, explains the way adding more gratitude to your life can benefit you.
- Positive Affirmations
Recognising and challenging negative thoughts as they occur can make us a lot more mentally agile. Using positive affirmations is a technique used to counteract negative, mood-killing thoughts can help us feel happier and pull ourselves out of a miserable slump. You can chant and think them, but you need to really believe in them to have any effect. Keep repeating your favourites and let them bring you strength whilst uplifting you. The more you repeat, the more these kinds of thoughts and positive thinking will be encouraged. Cultivating positive thinking will make you unstoppable, and help you fight low moods that make you feel hopeless.
Here are some examples of positive affirmations you can start using right now:
My self-esteem is high because I honour who I am. - Louise Hay
I now free myself from destructive fears and doubts - Louise Hay
I deserve the best, and I accept it now. - Louise Hay
I now choose to release all hurt and resentment - Louise Hay
I find a deeper meaning and personal growth amid the discomfort - Gabrielle Bernstein
Obstacles are detours in the right direction - Gabrielle Bernstein
If you’re new to meditation, try this guided meditation with Gabrielle Bernstein! If you’re not new to meditation, you can still try this guided meditation! Gabrielle Bernstein is a spiritual leader who has many free guided meditations and helpful videos on YouTube, as well as lots of books and guided meditations you can buy.
Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia. There are lots of resources and apps to help you get started, but it’s also a powerful tool that’s free to do. You can do meditation anytime, anywhere. It’s a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety and all sorts. It has even been suggested that meditation can potentially clear skin and slow down signs of aging, because it reduces cortisol levels and stress affects the skin drastically.
- Move to Release Endorphins
We all know that exercise makes us feel good, but getting started is always the hardest part.
You don’t have to pay lots of money to exercise. In fact, moving is free! So find your favourite form of exercise - something that brings you lots of joy and that you can’t wait to do. A lot of people say that dance is like a moving meditation. It makes them feel good whilst working out their body. But there are so many forms of exercise out there. Maybe walking your dog brings you feel-good energy and fulfilment? Or maybe you find a sweaty hot yoga class super therapeutic? It’s just about finding the exercise that you truly love, and then becoming fitter and happier gets a hell of a lot easier.
- Acts of Kindness
Studies show that being kind can be good for our mental health. A study conducted with children in their first year of secondary school showed that the children recognised that being kind encouraged more feelings of happiness and fulfilment as a better, more complete person.
We would love to know if you will be using any of these products or trying any of the wellbeing tips. Wellbeing can be improved in the long-run by adding little things to our daily routine a little bit at a time. Please get in touch or leave a comment if you have your own tips, or if anything in this article has worked for you!
Written by Jess Burman
BA (Honours) Writing