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Six things to help you get through Blue Monday

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Was it extra effort to get out of bed this morning? Did you look outside and wonder when on earth there would be sun again? Does Christmas feel like it happened to somebody else, several years ago?

You’re not alone. Today is Blue Monday, allegedly the most depressing day of the year. The good news is that we get it out of the way early on – only 15 days into the year. The bad news is that we have to have it at all.

What’s more, feeling down, blue or depressed isn’t something which can be confined to a single day. Looking after your mental well-being is a year-round job, but one which might be made a little easier with these top tips for mood-improving activities.

Get crafty

The growth of Pinterest, Etsy and Instagram has made traditional craft activities fashionable again, from knitting to embroidery. These are peaceful and relaxing, whilst the repetitive action of crafts such as crocheting can help to take your mind off any worries you might have.

With YouTube tutorials available for almost anything, a lack of experience is nothing to panic about. What’s more, you’ll be producing something, whether that’s a birthday card for your best friend or a slightly lumpy jumper for your mum (she’ll love it, mums have to). This will help with any concerns about productivity, proving to you that you are both capable and hard working in those moments of doubt. It might even earn you some extra cash if you decide to sell some of your creations online!

Get colourful

Maybe you’re really not arts-and-crafty but you wish you were. In which case, adult colouring might be an option! Adult colouring as a hobby has exploded in the past few years. Walk into any bookshop and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

You can buy a colouring book on just about any topic: animals, Harry Potter, Jeremy Corbyn – there’s even outlines of expletives for you to decorate and colour. It’s a cosy-night-in activity, something which can really help you destress. Be warned: you might get some major pencil envy if you stumble across any of the online groups sharing their works of colouring art!

Get active

I know, I know, it’s a cliché, but it’s true that exercise can work wonders for your mental health. However, this doesn’t just mean dragging yourself to the gym three times a week. January is a great time to try something new, as there are a lot of deals around and many other people doing the same thing.

Join that yoga class, try-out for that netball team, sample what the university climbing club has to offer. Alternatively, just get together with your friends this weekend and have a kick-about. Whatever you do, it’s always better than not having done anything at all!

Get outside

Fresh air is incredibly important to our wellbeing, so head outside today. We’re incredibly lucky to have the outside space we do in England. For instance, London is the greenest city in Europe with 40% of its land turned over to publically accessible green space. Wherever you are in the country, find that natural space and get out there.

Go for a walk, a bike ride, or simply soak up being outside in nature. Even heading outside for your lunch break will help to clear your head and get things back into perspective.

Get planning

I’m not talking about resolutions here because let’s be real, most of us have already fallen off of that particular wagon. I’m talking about plans for all the things you want to do this year, the trips, the holidays, the fun stuff which is just as important as all of that self-improvement.

January might seem as though it’s never going to end – which is probably why Blue Monday comes slap-bang in the middle of it – but twelve months rolls around incredibly quickly. Give yourself something to look forward to, whether that’s a film you’re dying to see or the trip of a lifetime around Europe. It’ll make getting up in the cold and the dark for those 9 am lectures just that bit more bearable.

Get kind

We were awash with kindness advent calendars in December, countdowns to Christmas which involved completing a compassionate act each day. But kindness, to borrow a phrase, is not just for Christmas and doing something for others is a great boost to your self-esteem.

Just don’t forget yourself in all of this. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel on top of the world every minute of every day. Give yourself treats and time to yourself just to be. A little self-care goes a long way, so make sure you build that into your 2018.

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