dark clouds, black umbrellas with a colourful umbrella in the middle

It could be a marketing story designed to give journalists something to write about after Christmas or it could be scientific FACT, but today is allegedly Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year so far. The end of the festive season, the bad weather and lack of money may mean that some people will feel the post Christmas blues.  Well we say ‘Pah!’ to Blue Monday and tell you how to flight it off!

Get Some ‘Me’ Time

We’ve had the hustle and bustle of Christmas and we’re having a ‘what now?’ moment. We’re back at work and spring seems a while away. It’s important to remember that this feeling won’t last forever.

Schedule in some ‘me’ time and stick to it. These don’t have to be expensive treats either- a bath night where you have a long bath and listen to music with a glass of wine, a DVD night or an evening where you make time to give yourself a manicure are all things which don’t cost the earth but give you some time to yourself.

Get Out And About

Vitamin D is great for improving moods and a good way to get this is to get out into the sunlight. This is particularly important during the winter months where there’s not much daylight. Go out during your lunch break at work, it not only gives you a much needed vitamin D boost, but time away from your desk too.

Culinary Delights

We’ve had a month of Christmas parties and feasting. Whilst we don’t recommend comfort eating, BBC Good Food has mood boosting recipes to help improve your mood and are healthy too!

Alternatively, read this article on how to make your meals go further.

Exercise

January is the month we buy ridiculously expensive gym memberships, use once and then never again. But whilst you spend two hours pumping iron in the hope of undoing all of last year’s bad eating habits, exercise actually releases endorphins in the body which can help improve your mood. Taking regular exercise is therefore not only good for your body, but your emotional health too. We’re not talking about the binge exercise either- where you go to the gym for the whole of January and then never again. We mean a little exercise here and there which you can fit into your daily routine- such as walking instead of taking the car. Read our article on exercises you can do at home, so you’re not spending money on a gym membership you won’t use.

Money Worries

Unless you live in a cave, everyone spends money at Christmas, the important thing is that you take control of your finances. Take a deep breath and tackle them head on. Here are some guides to budgeting:

If you’re a Provident customer with concerns on how to repay your loan, there’s information here on what you can do and what help’s available.

If you’re struggling to manage debts, the following could also help:

StepChange offers advice on debt problems and focus on finding the best solution for you.

Money Advice Service give free, unbiased advice to help people to manage their money more effectively.

National Debt Line are run by the Money Advice Trust and offers free, confidential advice on debt management.

The Weather

We’re either talking or grumbling about it, but we Brits love the weather! There’s nothing much we can do about it, so here’s how to best cope!

Don’t Let The Weather Stop You– as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather but bad clothing. Wear waterproofs, wrap up warm and carry on. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the house with bored kids who can’t go out to run off steam. Netmums have a list of free family activities for fun out and about.

The right clothing makes all the difference. Waterproof shoes will see you dancing to work (ahem). This will protect your feet from some of the wet. You can also get ponchos for as little as £5 from the following:

Make sure you’re wrapped up warm with layers so you don’t get chilled through waiting for busses or trains. Also, you can remove layers if your work place is warm, so you’re not too uncomfortable.

Be flexible. If it’s snowing, make arrangements to catch an earlier bus or walk to a bus stop on a main route.

Getting stuck in your card in snowy weather isn’t fun. The AA have advice on what you should take with you when driving in the snow.

More Than Just Down?

Sometimes the low feelings last longer than a few days. If you’ve been feeling down for a while, it could be something like Seasonal Affective Disorder or in worst cases Depression. Speak to your Doctor if you have any concerns about how you’re feeling.