Blue Monday Blues // How to Beat Them
Today is Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. I mean you can see why: Christmas and New Year festivities are well and truly over; you've probably already broken your new year's resolutions; you're broke from aforementioned festivities and payday is still two weeks away; Summer seems like it might never come; and January weather is bleak AF up here in the Northern Hemisphere (sob sob). Here are our top suggestions of little things you can do to bring a ray of happiness and light into your Blue Monday.
1. Plan something with your best friend / significant other / cat / dog / sibling / parent / roommate / yourself.
Even if you can't afford it right now. This could be something relatively small like making a lunch date for a few weeks' time, or planning a trip to the beach or the theatre, or something big like a holiday. Giving yourself something to write in your diary and look forward to just feels nice. Equally, ignoring the price tags for an evening and looking up your dream fantasy holiday is pretty damn nice too. - L.
2. Have a candle lit bath.
At Boshemia we’re always touting the value of a good bit of self-care, and there is no bigger self-care cliché than a bath; and honestly as a recent bath convertee, I get it. Don’t get me wrong, a shower is just more efficient for cleanliness, but if you’re in a bad mood, feeling a bit under the weather (damn you January cold season!) or just bored, it’s amazing how effective a bath can do be (I'm working on my grammar, I promise). If you’re going to do it, go all out; we’re talking bath oils, bubble bath, candles, red wine, the High School Musical soundtrack softly playing in the background (or something else, your call). Fire up the taps and enjoy some you time – the bath is a place free from the stresses of the everyday world; there are no emails, no spreadsheets, no patients, no nothing – just you, some alone time, a shit ton of a bubbles, and Zac Efron crooning in the background (or fine, use some other album, whatever). - Q.
3. Go to the movies on your own, or create the movies in your living room.
Why do people insist on going to the cinema in huge groups anyway?? You don't talk or socialise when you get there, you just sit beside each other in silence watching the film that you paid £10 to watch. Going on your own is far more fun, and there no risk of being distracted by other members of your party (because there are none, muahaha!). Just two hours of uninterrupted movie time.
Alternatively, if you don't have the £$€ to splash out on the big screen, or just don't really fancy leaving the house (which is totally valid), gather all the blankets you own, find a huge bowl and fill it with popcorn (who needs new year diets anyway?), and unashamedly watch your favourite film. Quote the entire damn thing if that's the way you like to do it. Viewing buddy totally optional. - L.
4. Listen to Blue Monday on repeat.
I know we all wish it were still Christmas, but do we really want Christmas music infecting our brain any longer? Now that it’s January, I feel like I can say this for legit, but it’s not very good is it? Valentines Music sucks too, and don’t even get me started on Easter music! (No please, don’t get me started, I can’t think of a single Easter song that isn’t printed in a hymn book). While Blue Monday sucks, and it might not even be a real thing, there is no denying that the song is a complete banger. In my darkest days of depression and despair, even my worst mood could be lifted, if only slightly, by the 8 minute synth face melter that is Blue Monday, by New Order. And yeah, the song Blue Monday isn’t about this Blue Monday – the concept didn’t even exist in the 80s, but New Order knew that they needed to create a song so amazing, that we’d eventually name a holiday after it (yeah, I know that’s not how it actually went). Aetiology be damned, blast it, press repeat and dance around your room feeling that synth haven. - Q.
5. See a play.
I go to the theatre [all of us at Boshemia do, really] with the same tenacity that some folks go to church. In that dark, sacred room, you can lose yourself completely in other worlds, forced only to confront the choices of the characters before you [and if you're brave enough: imagine yourself in their shoes], all while musing on the universalism of the human story. It's a way of feeling a human connection when you don't want to talk to anyone. - E.
6. 10 Sun Salutations [if you are a lazy yogi like me]
Once upon a time, I was a dedicated yogi. Now that my practice is more sporadic, I stick to my roots and dig deep into sun salutations [and child's pose, for long stretches of time] if I can't bring myself into a full practice. Ten sun salutations ignite a small but strong enough flame within yourself to radiate through your whole being, bringing you joy and relaxation on your bluest days. The brief exercise might even inspire you to push further into your practice. - E.
Those are our six favourite ways to practice self-care this Blue Monday, although obviously it goes without saying that these work every other day of the year where you feel a bit crap. Be extra kind to yourself and other today (although we hope you are always).
We hope your Blue Monday has just become a little warmer hued.
Here is a bonus snek, just in case nothing else works:
A comprehensive list of UK-based mental health charities and helplines: