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Beat Blue Monday

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Today is known as Blue Monday – officially the most depressing day of the year.

If your day feels like it’s going on forever, you just want to eat chocolate/cheese all day or you’re desperate to book a holiday anywhere that’s sunny, then what you’re feeling is normal for today.

The third Monday in January has been scientifically calculated as the most depressing of the year because, the hope of the new year has diminished, the weather is appalling and the summer seems like a distant dream. It was actually scientifically calculated with a formula created by Cardiff University lecturer Cliff Arnall. Although some sceptics may dub this as a publicity stunt, the directory of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists: counsellingdirectory.org.uk supports the theory and traffic to their site is up by 31% in January, peaking on Blue Monday.

Stylist has spoken to qualified psychotherapist and clinical advisor to counsellingdirectory.org.uk Jules McClean. He’s given us his top tips on how to beat Blue Monday blues.

• Firstly, try not to be influenced by the auto suggestion that you will be depressed on this day!

• Plan something lovely to do so that you have something to look forward to, such as a massage or simply be with someone who inspires or nourishes you. Avoid being with people who are negative during this time.

• Get as much fresh air as possible, go for a walk as there’s always something to be inspired by through nature and will boost your mood.

• Offer to help someone who needs it as giving up your time for others often engenders a good feeling within.

• Five minutes mediation with deep breathing allows you to be connected again and take you out of the low mood. Or have some ‘me’ time – take a bath or do something relaxing.

• The body produces its own uplifting chemicals, known as endorphins, by eating foods that produce these chemicals you can technically eat yourself happy. Foods such as chocolate – yep, it might be a quick fix but it brings a smile to our faces, bananas which are rich in potassium and sugars that will make you feel energetic over a long period, nuts – rich in B Vitamins and selenium which boosts your mood, and pasta – rich in carbs that will make you feel fuller for longer and slowly releases energy.

• Do some exercise to get your blood pumping, your body producing feel good endorphins and is guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself.

Picture credit: istock

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