How can you avoid the Bluest of Monday Blues?
The third Monday in January has the unenviable title as the most depressing day of the year. While the scientific validity of ‘Blue Monday’ is questionable, it’s plausible that miserable weather, dark days, anxiety about post-festivity debt, and short-lived New Year’s resolutions could exaggerate the typical back-to-work blues.
So what can you do to prepare to beat the blues this Monday?
Our Sleep Expert Sophie Bostock has the following advice:
A single night without sleep can boost anxiety levels by 30%. For a calmer, more upbeat start to the week, here are 5 steps to protect the quality of your sleep:
A lengthy Sunday lie-in may feel delightful at the time, but later weekend wake-up times will shift your body clock back, which means waking up on Monday is a nasty shock to your body clock. To avoid that jetlag-type haze on Monday mornings, aim to shift your wake-up time by no more than an hour from one day to the next.
What are you going to do with that extra hour or two on Sunday morning? Brave the outdoors. Getting active early in the day means you start to build up a strong sleep pressure by nightfall. Regular physical activity is associated with deeper, more restorative sleep.
Sunday night stress? A simple step to reduce the racing mind is to mentally put the day to rest. An hour before bed, take a pen and paper, and write down everything important that you need to remember for tomorrow. If those same thoughts pop up while you’re in bed, tell yourself it’s on the page, it’s safe to let it go.
If worry interferes with your day or night, set aside a time each day to give your worries some serious attention. Allocating a 20 minute ‘worry time’ in your schedule can help prevent unhelpful thoughts intruding at other times. During worry time, reflect and write about your worries. When worry time comes to an end, move on.
Sunlight is a natural mood booster. Most electric lighting only has a fraction of the intensity of natural daylight. If Monday hits and you’re in need of an energy boost, take a walk, or move next to a window. Daylight is cheaper than an espresso, and boosts the brain’s production of serotonin, the feel good hormone.