Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year, which might explain why you’re feeling a little down today or the usual banter from your colleagues is lacking.
Typically falling on the third Monday of January, it was conceived by psychologist Cliff Arnal in a bid to explain why people were so sad throughout the first month of the year.
Arnall created a formula which takes into account the end of the festive season, debt and failed New Year’s resolutions, all to predict how down a person is likely to be feeling.
It is difficult to control some of these factors but there are some things we can all do to make ourselves feel better – including our time, diet and daily activities.
Using her years of research, health and wellbeing expert Geeta Sidhu-Robb has revealed her secrets on how to beat Blue Monday by making minor lifestyle changes.
She told Mirror Online: “Ultimately we forget that the outside has not a huge amount to do with change, it’s what’s inside, change has to be within.”
Geeta, who founded Nosh Detox to offer diet programmes, therapy and lifestyle advice, points out that poor diet is a key contributor to bad moods on Blue Monday.
Geeta says that the lack of a balanced diet that includes fat and important minerals is a key problem.
Geeta said: “Our vitamin C and vitamin D levels are incredibly low this time of year and that makes a big difference.”
The expert also found a link between January weight loss rituals and poor mood in her clientele.
She said: “We have people come in and say ‘I’m trying to lose weight’ and we ask them what they eat and they’re like ‘I’m on a low-fat, low carb diet’ so the first thing we do is increase the amount of fat and fibre that they’re eating”.
“The body uses fat to move hormones around the system so if you don’t eat enough fat, it really affects your hormone activity which is your feel-good factors”.
Instead of cutting out fat, we should be piling up our plates with fatty fishes like mackerel and salmon along with avocados, coconut oil and nuts.
Eating regularly is also important, with Geeta suggesting you eat three meals and at least one snack every day.
She also highly recommends switching to a plant based diet or at least becoming flexitarian.
Geeta said: “Even if you eat plant based two or three times a week, it will transform your life because it will transform your gut and your health. Gut health is at its strongest when you eat fruit, fat and fibre.”
In a bid to improve our moods and be kinder to our bodies, alcohol consumption should be restricted to every other day and all processed foods should be cut out along with sugar.
“Sugar costs your body good things in order for the body to break it down, process it and remove it. It’s expensive for the body.”
“Fat puts back in and sugar takes out; as does processed food. They are a net deficit.”
Away from food, creating a Blue Monday self-care routine is important too and we should make time to love ourselves and implement balance says the expert.
“Geeta said: “Balance the day. Balance your week. For the day it’s making sure that you’ve had enough fat, making sure that you’ve had enough fibre, making sure that you’ve rung someone you love who loves you and makes you feel good.”
She suggests that everyone should take a walk outside during daylight for a minimum of 25 minutes a day in a bid to boost Vitamin D levels.
Geeta also suggests relaxation rituals like baths in Epsom Salt which help with relaxation and sleep.