Blue is a color often associated with peace and tranquility, however in some cases ‘feeling blue’ describes feelings of sadness or melancholy. Financial setbacks from the holidays, self-care negligence and seasonal affective disorder are contributing factors why people might be struggling mentally this early in the year. Not to mention almost two years of living through a pandemic.
Psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall introduced the term Blue Monday, the third Monday in January, to pinpoint a particular time of the year when disheartening factors align to put a damper on morale. Fortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to back up the theory surrounding what was once known as the most depressing day of the year. Adopting healthy habits can improve mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
“There are simple things we can do every day to enhance our mental health such as talking to friends, trying a yoga class, or listening to music while taking a walk,” said Laurie Mitchell, RDN, Assistant Vice President of Global Wellbeing & Health Management at Unum.
Last year, U.S. consumers spent $204 billion dishing out a little extra money to add more sparkle to the holiday season. Now we start to feel the aftermath in our wallets. Hope is not lost. This month consider taking advantage of the financially focused benefits available through your employer.
Manage Mental Health
According to the Pew Research Center, a third of Americans have experienced high levels of psychological distress during the coronavirus outbreak. Finding behavioral health solutions can help simplify the complex challenges when confronting issues surrounding mental health.
Try the Sun & Don’t be SAD
The environment also affects how we feel emotionally. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that fluctuates as the seasons change. During winter, colder weather and lack of sunlight spurs feelings of fatigue, depression, hopelessness and social withdrawal. Incorporating a few wellness tips such as regular exercise, eating healthy foods and setting time aside for rest and relaxation are essential to rejuvenate for the new year. Physical activity may often seem difficult, but finding that motivation and sticking to it can make a significant difference. Bundling up and going outside to enjoy the sunlight can be beneficial and might help everyone feel rosier rather than blue.