Mondays typically aren’t fun for most people. The weekend is over, it’s the start of the work week with many emails to catch up on, and there are five days to go until you have two glorious days off again.
But one Monday, in particular, seems to be the most dreaded of all, Blue Monday-the third Monday of the new year. This year, Blue Monday appears on January 15.
When January 15th arrives, you may feel the stress of those lingering holiday bills. Or, shame and guilt because you haven’t followed through on your New Year’s resolutions. Both of these things can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.
How can I beat the winter blues this Blue Monday?
Just because Blue Monday is upon us, doesn’t mean you can’t combat it. Here’s what you can do to feel better when the winter blues roll around.
1. Surround yourself with those you love
Consider having dinner with your family or close friends, or just hanging out with your four-legged friend. Being around your loved ones isn’t just a mood booster, it’s also a good distraction from the day itself.
2. Manage your screen time
While Blue Monday might seem like the perfect opportunity to curl up under a blanket and scroll through Instagram or TikTok, too much screen time can negatively impact your mental health. Focus your attention elsewhere, like doing something active, getting together with family and friends, or even trying out a new hobby.
3. Seek professional help
This is a great way to cope with the feelings you may experience leading up to, on, or after Blue Monday. You can even speak to a Canadian-licensed general practitioner online. Our doctors are available to provide advice and treatment for common mental health conditions, so you don’t have to leave home and brave the cold. Seeking help is one of the best things you can do for yourself and it’s never too late to get started.
4. Find time in your day to meditate
Meditation is like exercise for the mind, helping to strengthen mental muscles that allow you to achieve peace and calm. And while just one meditation session won’t cure all, it’s a great way to practice being calm. Eventually, mental muscles become so strong that you can enter a peaceful and focused state at any time. And who knows, it might become a new passion of yours!
5. Make time to exercise
Exercising can improve your mood and even help you sleep better at night. Whether you’re working out at the gym, doing yoga in your living room, or just going for a walk around your neighborhood, exercise triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, which in turn boosts your mood.
How do I know if I need help for my mental health?
While Blue Monday started as a marketing gimmick, the effects of feeling down – no matter what day it may be – can be detrimental to your mental health.
Often times there are signs that what you’re thinking or feeling requires help from a professional. Common symptoms to watch out for include feeling excessively low, extreme mood changes, substance abuse, changes in sex drive, and difficulty concentrating, for example.
Other times, symptoms aren’t glaringly obvious. Maybe you aren’t experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, but all you want to do is talk to someone outside of your circle about being stressed out at work, relationship changes, or family issues. There’s help for that.
Your mental health doesn’t have to fall by the wayside for 2024. You can talk to a Canadian-licensed general practitioner online. Our doctors are available to provide advice and treatment for common mental health conditions*. Simply connect via live chat or video and get the help you need from the comfort of your own home – on Blue Monday or any other day of the year.
ivari critical illness policyholders have access to covered general practitioner visits and second medical opinions through Maple. Critical Illness policyholders can simply visit getmaple.ca/ivari to create an account. Those who already have a Maple account can sign in and access care within minutes, as well as search for health information and read helpful articles like this one.
These tips originally appeared in an article from Maple’s blog: How to boost your mood on Blue Monday
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