Are you feeling the weight of winter blues? You’re in good company. The third Monday in January has taken on the label of Blue Monday, gaining the reputation of the most depressing day of the year. There is actually no scientific evidence that this day is any different from any other Monday in winter. The name was actually coined by a travel company over a decade ago to encourage people to book vacations to hot destinations but the idea caught on, especially in Canada.

Gimmick or not, in our part of the world mid-January is cold and daylight is at a premium which can have a real impact on mental health especially for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. But there are ways to combat the gloom and see the gorgeous blue sky and beautiful snow through a new lens! Despite the cold and short days, winter offers unique opportunities for coziness, warmth, and enjoyment.

January 15th doesn’t have to be the most depressing day of the 2024. Here are some tips to brighten your mood on this day and any time the winter blues arise:

  1. Sweet treats – Many of us are trying to cut back after indulging over the holidays but why not use this day as an excuse to treat yourself and your staff/coworkers to something sweet! Pop by one of our local bakeries and pick up some sweet goodness.
  2. Brighten the mood – Wear bright colours and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Colour can be a mood booster. Instead of casual Friday organize a casual Monday! Having an office bursting with colour is sure to brighten everyone’s moods.
  3. Share a cup of positive-TEA! Meet a friend for a cozy cup of tea or treat a co-worker to their favourite!
  4. Exercise – Go for a walk on one of our amazing trails and take in some fresh air and Vitamin D. Don’t forget your ear buds! Listen to uplifting music or a funny podcast while exercising. Some suggestions to put a smile on your face; Happier with Grechen Rubin, SmartLess, Ask Me Another, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend!
  5. Engage in a hobby – Doing something you’re familiar with that you enjoy like painting, reading or playing music can distract and calm your mind while also bringing a feeling of satisfaction.
  6. Random acts of kindness – we all know that when you smile you feel better so it goes that when you do something nice for someone you not only make them feel better but you feel better! Connecting with friends whether over the phone or in person can have a big impact.
  7. Practice mindfulness – Practices like mindfulness and meditation can help calm your mind and reduce stress, promoting a more positive outlook.

Mental health is a year-round concern and January can be a challenging month for many. It’s always good to have some hacks in your back pocket for when anxiety or depression creep in so they don’t take hold. If cold winter and the daily grind are getting you down lift your spirits by proactively by engaging in activities to turn Blue Monday on its heels!