That’s why it‘s important to prioritize our mental health, among other things in our lives, because Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real, and we cannot subscribe to the notion of ‘Blue Monday’ which is nothing more than a myth.
The original idea for Blue Monday, a concept where the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year, was conceived in 2005 by U.K.-based psychologist Cliff Arnall. He calculated his formula on the weather, debt, the time elapsed since Christmas, and unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions—an idea which many academics rejected.
SAD, on the other hand, is a type of depression that occurs during the fall and or winter months, although some people might show symptoms in the summer. It’s present most of the day and can last more than two weeks, affecting people in various ways, including irritability, fatigue, changes in behaviour, weight, appetite, and even overall performance at daily tasks and social relationships.
Instead of calculating our complex emotions, we suggest embracing them and doing something positive to make you happier right now, such as:
Paint by numbers while listening to audiobooks
Paint by numbers is an effortless way to manage your anxiety and stress. It can help develop your creativity and focus by simply following instructions to create a masterpiece. What better way to take the edge off than creating art while your favourite audiobook plays in the background? Michaels has a great selection in the Artists Loft range.
Telemedicine is a convenient way to diagnose and treat ailments from health care professionals. Telemedicine apps have become especially popular during the pandemic due to physical restrictions. Therapists are also available to deliver effective treatments for mental health needs and if you just need to speak with someone. From consultations to prescriptions, various aspects of your typical clinic visit can be catered to you virtually. It's self-care at your fingertips.
It’s wintertime, which means shorter days and less exposure to sunlight. Sunlight helps increase our brain’s release of serotonin, which helps with our focus and boosts our mood. However, with the sub-zero temperatures and COVID- 19 restrictions, spending time outside might not be a feasible option for many, and rates of SAD rise at this time. Lightbox therapy is a fantastic substitute where you can carry out your usual indoor activities in the presence of bright light like that of the sun. It’s an effective way to boost your mood and treat various conditions.
As funny as this may sound, laughing classes are a great way to reduce stress levels, increase energy and improve general well-being. Also known as laughing yoga, you can try this out in a group setting or at home by yourself. The idea behind it is that the body does not understand the difference between a fake laugh and a genuine laugh, so the physical act of laughing would induce a stress-free and positive feeling regardless of the state of mind at the time. A typical class would involve some yoga positions and breathing exercises. You’re faking it till you make it, and it works.
Enjoying activities with family
Spending quality time with family and friends is a wholesome way of alleviating stress and feelings of depression. This is because our loved ones often give us emotional support. You can plan actives such as dates, friend or family dinners, game nights, or any other shared activities you enjoy, but remember to adhere to the pandemic restrictions. You can carry out these activities virtually, too, for those who cannot meet with their loved ones. Of course, nothing beats a hug but a virtual hang-out can be just as fun depending on how creative you get. It’s also important to remember not to place too much pressure on yourself, and you can choose who you call your family.