Any dream pursuit is guaranteed to come with mountaintop and valley experiences. Whether it’s something you are dealing with personally or whether you are challenged by a professional problem, some adversities can even throw you into a state of depression. And there’s one particular day of the year that will make you more prone than all the rest.
A few years ago, the third Monday in January was labeled Blue Monday by many experts in the mental health field. Some simply go with a date—January 21st.
But why the 21st or the third Monday in January?
Based on extensive research, as well as intensive interviews, I believe there are several contributors that solely, or linked with others, can throw even the hardiest soul into the pit of depression on or around the Blue Monday date. What are these triggers?
- Coming off the high of the holidays.
- Family member/friend goodbyes, after holiday reunions.
- Fewer activities to look forward to.
- Holiday bills coming in.
- Cabin fever.
- Less exposure to fresh air, and nature’s other healing properties.
- Cold and windy weather.
- Less sunshine.
- Cold and flu season peak.
- Reduced amounts of exercise.
- Less exposure to the blues, greens, yellows, reds, pinks, and oranges, that are known energizers according to the spectrum of the psychology of color.
- Higher incidence of death during the holidays, causing more to grieve.
- Fewer face-to-face social interactions with other human beings.
- New Year’s resolutions have now failed.
Regardless of when depression hits, there are some things you can do to help yourself, apart from seeking professional support for deep-seeded, clinical depression. So how do you off-set some of these melancholy contributors?
When it comes to post-holiday blues, or dark clouds that gather any time of the year, there are a few simple tips that can help.
*Take up a new hobby. It can be something you’ve always wanted to try, but choose something that requires concentrated effort. The human mind cannot think two distinctly different thoughts simultaneously, so for those used to the analytical world of left-brain work, try a creative right-brain project, like taking up drawing, painting, writing, or learning a musical instrument. Dream tending fits this healing practice perfectly.
*When sadness lingers long after your loved ones’ holiday visit is over, begin planning your next get-together. It’s been proven that anticipation is as good or better than an actual event.
If you aren’t necessarily sad over missing a person, but boredom and the blahs are your nemesis, plan once-a-month mini-vacations or weekend getaways. Your destinations don’t have to be extravagant or costly, you can even transform your home into a tropical fantasy island for a couple of days. Just choose something you can outline to give you a positive event to work toward, and allow your mind to look forward to the big date.
*If holiday bills are stressing you out, take thirty minutes to an hour, and create a budget that you write on paper or a computer. By putting things in black and white, you’ll give yourself a true perspective. Often, a situation feels more overwhelming when we aren’t clear on the details. What we fear is often much worse than the facts.
*Cabin fever is a real malady. Get out. Breathe in fresh air. And breathe in a fresh spirit.
*When it’s cold outside, heat yourself up by giving special treatment to your toes. Soak your feet in a warm epsom salt bath. The magnesium and other minerals in epsom salt have many healing properties, including natural anti-depressant chemicals, and when you warm your feet in water, you get an inside and outside boost of healing heat.
*Have your doctor check your Vitamin D levels to see if you need supplements to get you up to par. One of the reasons many people suffer from higher degrees of depression is due to less sun exposure, which offers natural infusions of Vitamin D, a known depression-buffering vitamin.
*If you can’t exercise outside, don’t have a treadmill or other home equipment, can’t get to the gym, or can’t devote 20-60 minutes to an exercise regimen then do one minute intervals when and where you can. Sixty seconds of jumping jacks, running in place, skipping an invisible rope, dancing, kicking, air boxing, or anything else that gets your limbs moving will work. If you do 20 intervals in a day, you’ve gotten twenty minutes of exercise in.
*When you feel like avoiding everyone is precisely when you might need to be around people the most. Withdrawal from human interaction is a symptom of depression. If the black clouds of overwhelming emotions are causing you to pull back from other people, do what feels uncomfortable, make yourself do something social with others.
Depression Busting Challenges:
- Will you commit to reduced amounts of sugar, caffeine, and simple carbohydrates?
- Are you eating whole foods, proven to buffer against depression?
- Do you give yourself things to look forward to?
Depression busting often takes a consistent and concerted effort, sometimes supported by medical assistance.
This episode’s Dream Tending Tips:
- Eat natural depression busting foods, such as those listed on this week’s free giveaway at tendyourdreams.com/freebie27 or in my eBook, Depression Busters, found at tendyourdreams.com/shop.
- Clean a room, a corner of a room, or tackle one small cleaning project—the sense of achievement will infuse you with a spark of energy.
- Get adequate sleep. Fatigue, especially chronic lack of sleep, can help throw us into depression and/or keep us there.
- Set one tiny goal, and then work toward accomplishing it.
- Schedule something you can look forward to within the next 30 days.
- Do something physical—motion moves our minds up.
- Get out of the house and meet a friend for coffee, tea, or lunch.
- Write down at least one thing daily that you are grateful for. The act of putting your thanks in black and white will embed positivity in your brain.
- Read Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, and/or other books that will support your own self-care and/or that of a professional.
- See a professional therapist or counselor. Just as you wouldn’t mess around with your physical health, don’t risk your quality of life when it comes to your mental state.
Grab the Tending Your Dreams’ free giveaway at tendyourdreams.com/freebie27 for your gift, just for tuning in. I also have some special eBook pricing for you.
Type in the code TYDeb50 to get your copy of 4×4 Habit Overhaul, or One Minute Intervals™: Sixty Seconds to a Healthier, Foodier You, or Depression Busters, at over half off the normal price. Purchase a book bundle using the same code, and save even more.
But ACT NOW, before this special eBook discount offer is gone.
Until next time, remember, your dreams are waiting for you to grab and tend:
Never stop believing.
Dare to dream bigger.
Host Anita Agers Brooks can be found on various social media platforms, and you can discover additional dream tending tips at tendyourdreams.com.