It's January! It might be a time for a fresh start, a New Year's resolution, and a fitness plan. But it is also time for Blue Monday—described as the "most depressing" day of the year.
Blue Monday, typically marked by the third Monday of January, was dubbed in 2005 as a marketing scheme by a holiday company that claimed to have formulated an equation to calculate precisely which day was the "most depressing" of the year. Although Blue Monday has not been proven by science, it is common to feel a wave of low emotions during the cold dark days of the winter season.
If you feel like your mood drops with the temperature, you are not alone. Even the cheerful thought of hot cocoa may not be enough to lift you from a mood slump. However, there are easy ways to ride out the blues beyond Blue Monday. Here are 12 tips that you can do to uplift your mood and increase your happiness this winter.
1. Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
You probably know first-hand how it feels after a sleepless night. And we all know that it's irritable! Studies have shown that sleep affects mood. Not getting adequate or regular sleep disrupts your cortisol rhythms and impacts hormone production, and these two elements play a big role in determining your mood, says psychologist Kelly Donahue.
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule maintains the timing of your body's internal clock. This can help you fall asleep more easily. Getting enough shuteye is probably just as important as sleeping and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
2. Stick to a sleep-inducing bedtime routine.
A healthy bedtime routine can calm your mind and induce sleep for a good night's sleep. Following such a routine every night is the best way to wake up happy and refreshed. The more consistent your nightly sleep routine is, the easier it is to fall asleep. This is because your body learns to associate certain cues with sleep, such as dimming the light, putting on your PJs, and getting into bed.
If your anxiety tends to shoot up when another full week of work is ahead of you, then it is important for you to stick to a calming bedtime routine, especially on Sundays.
3. Plan your schedule for tomorrow.
Planning ahead will help you feel more in control, says psychologist Obehi Alofoje. If you set a clearer and more specific goal for tomorrow, you will likely feel motivated when you wake up. Alofoje also suggests incorporating time in your day for a proper lunch—even better if it is with someone you like—and taking a short break whenever needed.
4. Wear something colorful.
Artists, interior designers, and fashion designers have long believed that color can affect moods, feelings, and emotions. Color can be a good mood booster. Identifying which colors best flatter your skin tone can make you look healthier and more radiant. When you find yourself looking great in a mirror, you'll feel great!
5. Get some flowers.
Flowers are not just pretty for the eyes but can also be potent elevators for your mood. Researchers at Rutgers University found that natural floral scents can make people happier for three days.
If you like the natural smell of roses, consider adding a serving of ECOMAAT La Vie en Rose Drops to your cup of water. That lovely, delightful smell can bring a smile to your face.
6. Go outside.
Daylight can help you feel better. It is much brighter than indoor lighting. So, don't let the cold outside keep you inside all day. Instead, spend time outside as much as possible, even if it is cloudy. Bundle up and take a stroll around the block during your lunch break or when the sun is brightest.
7. Let the sunshine in.
When you are indoors, you can still take advantage of where sunlight is. Keep your blinds wide open to let in as much natural light as possible. If you work from home, choose a workspace that is flooded with natural light.
8. Have a cup of positivi-TEA.
For centuries, herbal teas have been used to bring calm to daily life. There are studies that suggest drinking tea can help ease depression. If you want a midday boost without caffeine to help calm your nerves and uplift your mood, try rose petal tea or rose hydration. If you want something soothing before bed, try chamomile or lavender tea.
9. Meet happy people.
Happiness is contagious, which is proven by science. Reaching out to a positive, supportive friend or family member when you are having a tough day can make all the difference in the world. Perhaps, meet them over positivi-TEA. If meeting in person is impossible, have a ZOOM chat with them. After having a good laugh together, you will feel happier.
10. Indulge in aromatherapy.
A review published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine shows that essential oils have many health benefits. Blue Monday and gloomy days are the days to opt for something calming and uplifting, like rose essential oil and lemon essential oil.
Consider pampering yourself with a soothing aromatherapy massage with rose essential oil. Rose essential oil is known to ease depression, relieve stress, and calm anxiety. You can create a refreshing environment at home by diffusing lemon essential oil. The aroma of lemon essential oil can enhance positive mood. If you enjoy a long soak in the bath, try a rose bath. Add 20-25 drops of diluted rose essential oil and washed rose petals to a tub of very warm water. After soaking for 30 minutes, you will feel like a brand new woman!
11. Move your body.
You might have heard it thousands of times; physical exercise is good for you. And it is true! Mounting evidence has shown that exercise can boost mood, decrease the symptoms of depression, and reduce stress.
Outdoor exercise in daylight is most helpful. But if you can't exercise outside because it is cold or snowy, try using a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine set close to a window at home or the gym. If you want encouragement to push you to stick to an exercise routine, find a workout buddy. Simply surrounding yourself with workout buddies can motivate you to move your body.
12. Keep a journal.
Journaling can help you prioritize life's problems, identify your emotional triggers, and figure out what lifts your mood, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.
When you journal, try reflecting on all that happened in the day and writing down your thoughts, feelings, and concerns. The best time to do it may be at the end of your day. If you uncover a silver lining to a tough challenge, you will sleep happy.
The cold, dark days of the winter season can be tough on your mood. But there are ways to beat the winter blues to feel happier. Try one or all of these tips to find out what works best for you. Start small, get a dose of positivity, and pat yourself on the back. Every day is a fresh start!
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