How to care for yourself this Blue Monday
We know, January isn’t easy. We’re currently facing flooding, an empty bank balance and nobody even mention the C word.
Blue Monday is that dreaded day (usually on the third Monday of January) that has been titled "the most depressing day of the year".
This is due to a combination of shorter days, Seasonal Adjustment Disorder or SAD, a longer gap between paydays, unrealistic new year’s resolutions being forced upon us and, if that wasn’t enough, a realisation of how much we spent/overindulged over the festive period. The perfect storm, leaving us feeling more ‘blue’ than normal.
So this year, in amongst all the madness, let’s find time to seek solace in the small things. Find those Hygge* moments and hibernate inside while the rain goes hell for leather outside.
*Hygge - "a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)".
We’ve compiled a few of our favourite tips and products to get you through the winter and to spring. Dig deep, grab a warm beverage in your favourite mug and let’s get started.
Take five and track your mood
There’s a lot going on right now. So you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. We’ve been feeling the same and there’s a lot of pressure on keeping yourself together in this third lockdown.
Personally, I (Gab) have been trying to rely on escapism and have lost way too many hours mindlessly scrolling. So I’m going to take my own advice here, switch off and be present with my feelings.
By acknowledging the emotions in the moment, you can take stock and understand which action is best for you next. For me, it’s writing this blog post and picking up a well read book on the practice of Hygge. This never fails to get me reconnected.
Journaling is also a great way to feel present - whether this is pen on paper or via an app. Try and make “mood-tracking” part of your intentional, daily care routine. This will not only give you time to press pause, but also notice areas in your life that could be improved.
Here are some great templates for hand drawn mood-trackers.
I also can’t recommend the Mind Doc (formally Mood Path) app enough. It asks non-intrusive questions to help and learns from the experience:
“As a personalized mental health companion, MindDoc checks on you three times a day with questions that "learn" from your responses. These questions generate Insights and other resources most relevant to your emotional health.” - MoodDoc.com
Try and spend some time exercising outside (safely and socially distanced)
Gov guidelines state you can still go outside for exercise. This should be limited to once a day and in your local area, but even a short burst of outside time and (gentle or hardcore) exercise will release endorphins, triggering a positive feeling in the body. We all need that right now.
Want to try something indoors? Why not try Yoga with Adriene and her HOME - 30 Day Yoga Journey. Tailored to beginners to intermediates this channel will have you finding inner peace (and a new pose) in no time.
Treat yourself to a little self-care moment
Just a small plug for our humble business. After all that gifting over the holiday period, why not treat yourself to one of our Self-Care Packs?
Unwind and scrub the day away with our natural cotton Bath Pouf and Lavender Soap Bar.
After you're finished relaxing with your scented soap bar, use the Happy Balm to give your body some extra love.
- Cotton Bath Pouf - scrub the day away with the all natural bath pouf
- Lavender Soap Bar - to create a relaxing atmosphere
- Happy Balm - scented with a blend of grapefruit, sweet orange, geranium and ylang ylang essential oils, which are known for their uplifting properties!
I can already feel the stress melting away.
Note: the candle isn't included in the bundle. It's from a fabulous small business called Jessie's Homemade Goods and they are incredible. Check her out here.
Be kind to your body
It’s hard enough to get through January without having to stick to fad diets. Why not try and pack in the vitamins and nutrients by grabbing some fresh veggies and making a bulk pot of warming stew or soup. Perfect for winter lunches throughout the week. Plus it’s quick and cheap to make.
- All your favourite veggies
- Garlic and/or ginger
- A foil wrapped veggie stock cube/homemade stock up made from veggie scraps + water (just covering the veg)
Top tip: add some turmeric for a natural helping hand for your body this winter!
Leave to simmer for thirty - sixty minutes then blend if wanted and enjoy with some fresh bread. Delicious and nutritious.
Don’t forget to hydrate! Your body needs water to function as well as fight off illnesses. It’s also crucial in aiding digestion.
Make sure you’re never without water with our handy Insulated Steel Bottles (they’re also great for keeping hot drinks hot on your chilly walks!).
Rest - ‘Sleep is the best meditation’ - Dalai Lama
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Especially at the moment. This pandemic has had an overwhelming effect on our mental health and ergo our sleep.
Try and get into a regular routine when it comes to your bedtime pattern. Wind down before trying to sleep with a book or relaxation exercises like stretching.
Minimising screen time is another go to tip for relaxing the mind before bed. There are some brilliant apps to help that have sleep timers so you can plug in and leave your phone on the other side of the room.
A personal favourite of mine is Relax Melodies, which has a huge library of relaxing sounds to lull you into a peaceful sleep. There are also guided meditations available, as well as having the option to set a sleep timer.
A little care tip I like to set myself is to change my bedsheets more regularly. Adding extra care into the act of setting up your ultimate self-care zone is always so rewarding when you finally sink into that cushy, safe space.
Whatever you’re doing to battle the blues this January, remember that spring isn’t too far away and brighter days are ahead. We’d love to hear your low waste, self-care tips to get you through the winter. Tag us on Instagram @Greenpeareco