Beat Blue Monday!

iStock_000050360436SmallThe combination of post-Christmas blues, broken resolutions, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills, all add up to this Monday, 19th January, being named ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year. But it doesn’t have to be! Try some of our ideas to stop you feeling down in the dumps

Boost your alertness with bright morning light

Spending 15 minutes exposed to bright light before leaving for work in the morning is a great way to boost your alertness. Open your curtains as soon as you get up, or, if it’s still dark, turn on as many lights as possible and then sit and enjoy your first cuppa of the day. Getting a good dose of bright light first thing will reset your body clock, lift your mood and help you feel more alert.

Enjoy a moment

After breakfast, step outside and breathe in the fresh air. Take at least three deep breaths and take in the sights sounds and smells of everything around you. Think of something you have to be thankful for – be it your health, your family, a roof over your head. Then get on with your day.

Contact a friend

Get in touch with someone you have not heard from in a while; find out how they are. Reminisce about good times together. Laugh!

Eat well

Eating key foods can improve your mood. Pomegranate is one of the richest sources of flavonoids, an antioxidant with mood-enhancing properties. Blueberries are packed with vitamin C, which can alleviate stress. Make a nice hot chilli for tea – capsaicin, the substance that gives chilli its kick, also raises the body’s natural endorphin levels, which improve mood.

Plan or book a holiday

Sometimes just looking through holiday brochures, filled with azure skies and golden beaches are enough to give you a lift. Plan a mini break or getaway for later in the year. If you can afford to – book it! Having something to look forward to is a surefire way to make you smile.

Change the way you exercise

There’s no better way of releasing those endorphins than by exercise, but are you stuck in the same old routine? Try a new class at the gym, buy a new yoga DVD, run a different route – even adding a different playlist to your iPod will add a new dimension to your day.

Go to bed an hour earlier

If you’ve still had a bad day, hit the hay. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and mood. Get a good night sleep and wake up to a happy Tuesday!

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