Blue Monday


Blue Monday and dark days. Ten top tips for getting more cheerful.

Well hopefully you have survived Blue Monday – the most miserable day of the year. Apparently it was identified by Cliff Arnol at Cardiff University in 2005 and even had a formula to explain why we find the day so very bad.

The claim was that it is the day we realise we have overspent, over-eaten, broken our resolutions, accept the parties are over and that we face another year of work. Seems to make sense, though the University were quick to distance themselves, and Ben Goldacre, one of their neuroscience faculty, has described the claim as ‘farcical’.

That said, my experience of working with clients has certainly indicated that this is a pretty poor month for morale. But not so surprising:

  • Days started to shorten in October and we still get only about eight to nine hours daylight a day – and those hours are during working hours when we are starved of real light.

  • Any vitamin D we made through sunlight in the summer months is being depleted daily as there is insufficient UVB radiation between October and March for our bodies to generate this essential vitamin. If you covered up in the summer you may not have sufficient reserves and lack of Vitamin D has been linked to brain fog and fatigue.

  • We live in worrying times – business is concerned about Brexit, we are all concerned about Trump and his bicker-pal Kim Jong Un, the news gives us a daily dirge of misery – a government in disarray, an opposition more focused on nasty internal politics than political balancing, Carillion liquidation threatening hundreds of service businesses and thousands of jobs, Australian flu, the NHS with a bed crisis, more bad weather on the way… and on it goes. Groan!

So what can you do to lift your spirits until Spring puts some sunshine in your life?

  1. Exercise. It might be cold outside, but a good walk will give you some light and raise your endorphin levels. Make sure you are doing at least four sessions of aerobic exercise a week.

  2. Get in touch with friends. They are probably fed up too – so give them a ring and cheer them up. You will feel better yourself.

  3. Go to an up-lifting film. The Greatest Showman with Hugh Jackman, in cinema’s now, is getting great reviews and people leave the cinema on cloud nine. If you don’t like musicals just see it as a 90 minute opportunity to watch Hunky Hugh.

  4. Do small projects to make you feel in control – clearing the wardrobe, decluttering the garage – anything positive and productive.

  5. Laugh – find something to laugh at every day, even if it is yourself.

  6. Eat happy foods – Salmon, walnuts, seaweed, dark chocolate, eggs, green tea, grain bread, and legumes all have benefits to energy, sugar regulation or serotonin levels.

  7. Increase your food containing Vitamin B. Lack of this essential vitamin leaves you feeling low, tired and negative. So fill the fridge with good quality milk products, lean meat, eggs, peas and, if you can learn to love it, liver.

  8. Do a good turn. Helping someone who is more fed up than you or who just needs a friend has a huge impact on your feel-good factor.

  9. Smile. The mind body connection means that if you act happy, you tend to feel happy. When someone smiles back you are raising both your hearts.

  10. Finally, make a plan. Get back into your resolutions, plan a holiday, make a list of what you will achieve this year and get going. Defy the dark and start acting as if it was summer. It soon will be!

Be happy even when it’s dark outside.



Until next time.... Stay Sassy

Dr G.

"The Online Magazine for strong women"




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