Published on January 18, 2022

Take Care Out There

Blue Monday. The gloomy, third Monday in January, whose existence was calculated through an equation that factors in weather, time since Christmas holidays, debt, motivation and the rapid failure of our newly declared New Year’s Resolutions. A depressing day that reminds us that winter is not yet over, the days are still dark and the nights are incredibly long. A day whose existence has been recently debunked as a marketing gimmick.

While Blue Monday may have been the brainchild of a UK-based travel company, its basis is not totally unfounded. January is tough. It is cold. It is dark. Our credit card bills are rolling in from holiday spending. In fact, the whole idea of Blue Monday in and of itself can spur on mental health challenges at this time of year. Because of all of this, it’s important for each of us to take care of ourselves and make sure that we’re making our own mental health, and the mental health of those around us, a priority. The daylight is coming. The snow will melt and the sun will warm us all up. Until then, here are some quick little ways that you can put a little more focus on yourself this month and make your mental health a priority.

  1. Get outside! Although the weather has certainly been up and down these past few weeks, find some time to get outside and breathe the fresh air. Since many of us are working from home these days (and even for those of us who aren’t), a lunchtime walk can be a great way to reduce stress and re-energize your mind for the rest of the day ahead.
  2. Find some time for yourself. Easier said than done as many of us navigate the world of overlapping roles (parent, teacher, employee, nurse, spouse, friend), but even just 20 minutes at the beginning or end of the day to reconnect with yourself and do something you enjoy can add fun, fulfillment and renewed purpose to the day, in amongst the weight and stress of the outside world.
  3. Power down. In a time when all many of us do is sit in front of our screens for meetings, day to day tasks, grocery orders, visits with friends and family, and just general social media use, one of the best things you can do for your brain is shut it all out for a little while. Before bedtime, calm your mind and settle in for sleep by choosing to do a bit of writing about what’s going on in your head. Getting worries, stresses or hopes for days to come down on paper means you don’t need to worry about remembering them while you sleep. The words will be there for you tomorrow if you still need them, and if you don’t, they’re no longer taking up space in your thoughts.

While these may have been just a few examples of ways to focus on self-care this month (view the full list of 30 Days of Self-Care), the most important thing to remember is to seek support when you need it. Mental wellbeing is an increasingly focused on area of personal health and it is critical to maintaining balance in your life. Small steps can have big impacts, but more than that, if you are struggling, reach out. There are people you can connect with who are committed to your well-being and you are not alone!

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Last edited: January 19, 2022