How To Beat Blue Monday

Shutterstock / Lijphoto © Banish Blue Monday

Today is Blue Monday, the expression alone can make me feel miserable! So here’s a few ideas how to beat Blue Monday.

The third Monday in January is generally regarded as THE day when most people feel fed up. The festive fun is a dim and distant past, yet many people are left still counting the cost of the festive present-buying frenzy. 

We can’t change the past but we can avoid making the same mistakes in the future (note to self, work to a budget).  

Count Your Blessings 

I’ve found the best thing to beat the blues is to focus on a fresh, new start. 

Look for the things that bring you happiness and aim to include them more in your life. Try to make achievable positive changes in your day-to-day life, too. It’s good to take a holistic approach.  

Banish Blue Monday


Getting out in the fresh air is a great way to blow away the cobwebs. Walking is not just great exercise, take a stroll in a forest or by the beach and the beneficial effects will be enhanced. Daylight naturally boosts the spirits, helping shed those gloomy feelings. And a morning walk helps set your circadian rhythm (your body clock’s natural sleep/wake cycle).  

A good night’s sleep is restorative. And, if you stick to a routine of waking/going to sleep at the same time, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to face the world.  

A simple cup of tea is also a go to when you’re feeling troubled. Stick the kettle on and while it’s brewing, write a list of all the positive things in your life that you are thankful for. Such as family, a rewarding job, friendships. Talking through any woes with a trusted person will also help ease any troubles. 

Don’t Hibernate! 

Think about diet too, though not necessarily in relation to losing weight. Just focus on nutritious dishes that give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best. Food really can affect mood, too. You can find out more about beneficial foods here 

You may be affected by SAD because of a lack of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”, so it’s wise to consider supplements too. Or invest in a special lamp which replicates sunlight in winter months as a kind of light therapy. 

Be sure to stay socially active, even in the cold winter months when you might be more tempted to hibernate! Everything from going to the cinema or book clubs and chatting about it afterwards helps nurture creativity. Or join a local dance class or art group. If that’s not your thing, consider volunteering. The feel-good benefit of helping others can lift your spirits too, and give a boost to self-esteem. 

Wear A Smile

Wear a smile, some days it may be harder than others. However, a smile is contagious and you’ll soon be rewarded with smiles in return. 

Give yourself something to look forward to. Plan ahead to when the days will be warmer and brighter and focus on places you’d like to visit. 

“Blue Monday” was coined by a travel company who apparently used an equation to work out that this was the gloomiest day of the year. Who knows, if I get to grips with my budgeting perhaps next year I can whisk myself away to somewhere warm and sunny and actually look forward to this calendar date in 2024!

You could even try going vegan for the rest of January!

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.