I propose we have Cheer-up Tuesday this month to follow on from January’s Blue Monday which is advertised as the most depressing day of the year.
A survey by the Co-op found that 26% of British people claim that this month is when they feel the most isolated.
It may be useful to know that Blue Monday was in fact created in 2005 by a British holiday company. The idea was derived not from the results of any in-depth research, but instead by using a calculation involving such factors as current weather conditions and debt levels. However, while it had no basis in science, the idea caught on, and now many of us have come to dread it.
Here are some ways we can improve our mood and ride the winter waves of woe.
- Capitalise on the light. Natural light helps stabilise serotonin and triggers endorphin, both mood-boosting hormones. See if you can get outside for at least ten minutes today. You could enhance the positive effects by combining your time outside with the second suggestion.
- Take aerobic exercise. Any steady movement you enjoy—walking, jogging, swimming, cycling—boosts endorphins, and will leave you feeling calmer and happier. Your efforts may even mean you’ll include the next suggestion automatically.
- Smile. When you smile, you release a cascade of feel-good chemicals in your brain. Your body relaxes, and blood pressure may be lowered. Smiling is contagious, too, so if you smile at others you’ll help them feel better as well.
- Be grateful. Recent research has shown that when you take time to appreciate what you already have, you’ll feel more energetic and optimistic. Make a list of things you’re grateful for, and people you’re grateful you know.
- Practice altruism. There’s a growing body of research that links altruistic behaviour with improved health and a greater sense of wellbeing. Offer someone a genuine compliment, and/or make a contribution to a charity.
But it is over and we have survived so let’s give ourselves something to look forward to. I suggest that we plan Cheer up day around things that give us pleasure. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Eating cake
- Listening to music
- Doing something creative, painting cooking, knitting or something similar
- Getting dressed up
- Visiting or contacting friends
- Watching a favourite DVD
Of course you will have some of your own so perhaps you can contact us to share your little treats.
So come on readers let’s make Tuesday 2nd February a day to rejoice and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Celebrate our own Cheer up Tuesday by being happy and positive.