January might be the time for starting your New Year’s resolutions, getting back into a healthy routine and starting 2023 with a bang, but the 16th of January is a day that people dread. If you don’t know what Blue Monday is, it’s the day given to the third Monday in January and is deemed to be the most ‘depressing day of the year’.
The Blue Monday myth was created by Sky Travel as a marketing tactic to get people to book holidays; they deemed it to be the most depressing day of the year based on the weather and the long dark days. To help navigate any feelings you may have on Blue Monday, or at any point during the year, here are different ways you can manage your stress levels.
Start off your morning with a mug of positivi-TEA
If you’re a tealover, or if you have never tried chamomile tea before, we recommend you try it out. Chamomile has been used for centuries for its therapeutic properties to help reduce anxiety. Chamomile contains apigenin, a compound that has the same effect as anti-anxiety medication, which therefore helps you feel calmer after a cup. Chamomile is also a great tea to drink before you go to sleep, the antioxidants in the tea bind to the receptors found in your brain that have been thought to promote sleepiness and can also help to reduce insomnia. Starting your day off right and ending it right with a cup of chamomile tea could really help you to feel better and sleep better, which should help to ease any stress.
Talking of things that we should be putting into our body, we should also briefly touch on things that we should avoid putting into our body. It can be tempting to pour ourselves a glass of wine or crack open a can of beer after a stressful day, whilst it might seem like a good idea at the time, it might be impacting your mental health. Alcohol and mental health are closely tied together, drinking too much can have a negative effect on your well-being and if you’re already feeling down it can make you feel worse.
Similarly, if you’re having a down day and you don’t feel like cooking, ordering a takeaway and overeating can leave you feeling lethargic and uncomfortable. Food high in carbs and fat, like many takeaways are, can cause the insulin levels in your body to go into overdrive, which will leave you feeling tired and unwell. Obviously everything should be eaten and drunk in moderation, so don’t ever feel guilty for ordering a takeaway!
Try out meditation
If you’re feeling stressed and anxious, or you're generally feeling down, you should consider trying out meditation. Meditation will allow you to understand the problems you are facing, decrease the amount of stress you feel, help you to connect your body and mind, improve your focus and help to ignore any negative thoughts.
Even if you only meditate as little as 8 to 10 minutes, the effects can be very beneficial. If you’re unsure where to start, here are a few starting tips from us.
- To begin you should find a place to sit down, preferably in a quiet and calming space. Once you have settled down, make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position that you can stay in for your meditation session.
- The next step is to bring attention to your breath, follow the rhythm of your breathing as you inhale and exhale. Although it can be hard, try to focus on your breath and block out any outside thoughts, if you notice that your mind is wandering off, simply focus your attention on the breath and continue.
- You can continue your meditation session for as long as you want, when you want to finish your session, take in the environment around you and start to open your eyes.
If you struggle practising meditation by yourself and you would prefer to follow a guided meditation, Morphée has over 210 sessions that will guide you through a session, leaving you relaxed during the day or ready for bed at night time.
If you’re already feeling low, getting up off the sofa can feel like a huge struggle and the last thing you want is to exercise. However, exercise has been proven to be one of the best natural remedies for reducing stress and it can help blow away the January blues. If there is a day like Blue Monday coming up, or if you are feeling down, remember that moving your body will help to make you feel better. When you exercise, you will release your feel-good endorphins also known as your happy chemicals.
When the endorphins are released, it will bring around a happy and positive feeling that should help you to feel more relaxed. Remember, when we say exercise, that doesn’t mean that you have to go on a 5km run, any aerobic exercise such as walking, playing tennis or going swimming will have the same effect.
Not only will it help you feel better but moving your body can be a good form of distraction. If you’re taking part in a rugby match with your friends, playing tennis with your partner or strolling through the woods, you will find that your mind is focused on the activity you’re taking part in and not your daily challenges.
Journal & Manifest
Either in the morning before you start your busy day or in the evening when you’re winding down, journaling can help you get to grips with any feelings you are currently facing. Journaling is simply writing down any thoughts and feelings you have, writing them down can often help you to understand your troubles more clearly. Journaling can be a great tool to help you navigate your feelings and help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Journalling can help you gain control of your emotions and overall help to improve your mental health.
If you have already set some time aside for journaling, this would be a good chance to write down a few affirmations that can help to improve positivity. Positive affirmations are a form of self-help and can help you to overcome any self doubt you may have and can help you to achieve your goals. If you are writing down your affirmations in the morning you can write down positive thoughts you want to have for the day, and if you’re writing them later in the day, you can write them down for the next day.
Take a warm bath / shower
If you’re ever feeling anxious, stressed, or you’re just having a bad day, and you need to unwind before you go to bed, there is a pretty simple solution. Taking a hot bath or shower is the perfect chance to have some alone time and can be added to your daily routine to help reduce any stress you may be feeling on Blue Monday or any day of the week. Try to enjoy your bath or shower, for some people this is one of the only chances they will have to relish in the peace and quiet.
If you’re taking a bath you could light a candle and read a book and if you’re having a shower, why not use the fancy shower gel you received for Christmas. Not only will some alone time help you to gather your thoughts from the day, but scientific studies show that bathing in hot water can help to encourage a good night’s sleep. When you’re showering or in the bath, your body temperature will increase but when you get out your temperature will automatically drop which indicates to your brain that you're ready to sleep.
A quick tip for you – although we are still getting through the cold winter months, try and refrain from turning up the heating in your bedroom too high whilst you’re running your bath. If your room is too hot it can negatively impact the quality of your sleep, the optimum temperature for a good night’s sleep is 18-20°c. `
If you want to try Morphée before you buy one, you will be able to test them out for yourself in two locations in London. Morphée can be found in the Smart Tech section in Selfridges and in the Anya Hindmarch concept store in Belgravia. Anya Hindmarch first concept store of 2023. AnyaZZZ is open from now until the 12th February in Belgravia everyday of the week. Alongside Morphée, there will also be a number of other high-end sleep products from different brands that have been carefully selected to help enhance a good night’s sleep.