Combating the blues


When it comes to Blue Monday, dubbed as the most depressing day of the year, you may associate the day with post-Christmas bills and gloomy and cold weather. Not exactly a day in the calendar you would want to celebrate.

A survey carried out by Co-op found that 26% of British people say that January is when they feel the most isolated.

But there are ways to combat the blues and Sue Burke, clinical standards manager at BHSF, has come up with three top tips for self-care and wellbeing:

1. Open up about your feelings

“People should open up about their feelings because by doing so it helps to dissipate and tackle a problem. By not doing so there is a risk that negative feelings will linger and get worse.

“It can be hard and scary to open up about our feelings. How will they be received by others? Will opening up cause offence or upset to others? A good place to start is to be clear with yourself about your own feelings. Say to yourself ‘I feel’. Try not to say ‘I feel that’ as you may be expressing a thought and not a feeling.”

2. Try out a new activity

“While we may feel pushed out of our comfort zones when trying a new activity, it is good to understand more about what we like and dislike. This builds our confidence and improves our mental wellbeing.

“If taking up a new activity goes well, great! Carry on, meet new people and enjoy!

“If you take up a new activity and it doesn’t go well, learn from the experience and look for something else. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

3. Have some ‘me time’

“It is important to have some ‘me time’ and not to feel guilty about it. ‘Me time’ may mean making space to concentrate on your own thoughts and feelings or it may be doing something that you particularly love; taking a walk, reading or playing music. It is not a luxury but a necessity to maintain a healthy mind. By having some ‘me time’ you are allowing yourself to de-stress and take stock.”