Self

6 Ways To Overcome The ‘Blue Monday’ Mindset Starting On January 15, 2023

Photo: Tristanbm / A.K. Butler from Getty Images via Canva
woman experiencing blue monday

As the calendar inches towards mid-January, the act of pulling oneself out of bed in winter becomes an increasingly daunting task. 

The initial allure of the snow-covered landscape, once deemed charming and enchanting, now morphs into a daily bother, a hindrance to the motivation needed to face the day.

It is during this time that the infamous 'Blue Monday,' (every third Monday in January  slated for January 15th this year) gains recognition as the most depressing day of the year.

While some scientists debunk the Blue Monday theory as a pseudoscience with no real data behind it, plenty of people feel depressed and hopeless at this time of year — and that feeling is very real! 

Even worse — social media exacerbates our emotional state in this winter-y gloom. Perfectly curated vacation pictures, holiday snapshots, and glamorous New Year's Eve moments flood our feeds, creating a stark contrast between the seemingly ideal experiences of others and our winter struggles.

   

   

RELATED: You Can Be Happy And Sad At The Same Time — And That's Okay

Seeing their seemingly perfect lives compared to our ordinary and dull winter reality can make us feel even more down during this time of the year.

However, amidst the winter blues and the relentless influence of social media, there is a silver lining. It's crucial to recognize that there are practical ways to combat the pervasive melancholy and cultivate a positive mindset.

So, worry not, for there are effective strategies to beat the blues and emerge from the winter doldrums with a brighter perspective. 

Here Are 6 Ways To Combat Our Blue Monday Mindset Blues

1. Remember that Social Media Only Shows a Tiny Sliver

It's crucial to remind yourself that social media only presents a fraction of someone else's life. Those perfect winter vacation photos and holiday snapshots are carefully curated highlights.

Don't compare your behind-the-scenes reality to someone else's highlight reel. Instead, focus on appreciating the small joys in your own life because life is way too short to focus on anything else.

2. Assume Others Have Their Struggles, Too

Comparison Culture thrives on the assumption that everyone else is having a perfect life. Blue Monday is thinking everyone is having the best winter ever and you are not.

Break free from this mindset by acknowledging that others might be facing similar struggles. Blue Monday is a shared experience, and understanding that you're not alone can provide a sense of camaraderie.

   

   

3. Embrace Sunlight Whenever Possible

The winter months often bring gloomy days, but whenever the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, make it a point to soak in some sunlight. Exposure to natural light can significantly improve your mood and energy levels.

So, take short breaks outdoors during daylight hours to boost your well-being. Take your dog for a walk, go check your mail, sit on the curb, and count how many red cars you see — just do something to get you outside in the sun to soak up that vitamin D.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Boost Your Energy (Naturally!) When The Winter Has You Down

4. Prioritize Vitamin D and Supplements

Speaking of vitamin D, crack those supplements out.

   

   

You should consult with your healthcare provider about taking vitamin D supplements but, especially during the winter when sunlight exposure is limited vitamin D can be your best friend.

You see vitamin D plays a crucial role in mood regulation, and ensuring you have an adequate intake can positively impact your mental health.

5. Exercise for Endorphin Release

Physical activity is a powerful tool for combating the winter blues. Exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers, helping to lift your spirits and increase overall well-being.

Whether you prefer indoor workouts or outdoor activities like winter sports, find a routine that suits you.

6. Schedule Quality Time with Loved Ones

The winter blues can intensify feelings of isolation. Combat this by intentionally scheduling more time with people you love and trust.

Chatting online or hanging out in person can help you feel better and give you something to look forward to. Connecting with friends, either virtually or face-to-face, offers emotional support and creates positive moments.

It's like building a collection of good memories that can brighten your days. So, whether it's a video call or a get-together, spending time with others is a simple and effective way to make your days better.

Feeling low on Blue Monday is common, but employing straightforward strategies and practicing self-care can help you navigate through it. Remember, your winter journey is distinctive, and by prioritizing self-care, you can emerge from the season with a positive and resilient outlook.

Let's give this Blue Monday mindset the middle finger and take care of ourselves this year. #KeepItReal

RELATED: 5 Easy Ways To Beat Winter Blues Caused By SAD

Deauna Roane is a writer and the Editorial Project Manager for YourTango. She's had bylines in Emerson College's literary magazine, Generic, and MSN.