Updated: Feb 21
Whether Blue Monday is completely made up or not, there's no denying that our mental health can take a bit of a dip after Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Coupled with miserable weather, pressures of new year resolutions, and not to mention money being tight, it's no wonder January gives us the blues.
We've researched seven free or inexpensive ways to brighten January and combat that pesky Blue Monday on 16th January 2023.
1. Buy an advent calendar in the sale and treat yourself every day throughout January!
Consider this one a bit of a genius life hack - but track down that beauty advent calendar you had your eye on, beer or even a classic chocolate one and give yourself a little treat every day in January (well, for about 24 days anyway!)
2. Find a new local walk to try out
Don your hat, scarf and gloves, get your thermal flask filled with a hot beverage and head outdoors.
Did you know that being outdoors for just 30 minutes can substantially impact your mental health? According to Mind, spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit your psychological and physical well-being.
(Cute pooch optional, this is our Pixie enjoying her recent walkies. Now, we can't promise it will make you *this* happy, but you never know!)
3. Do a Random Act of Kindness
Being kind to someone releases a tremendous amount of dopamine (the happy stuff in our brains), which means that you are delivering happiness to the person you're being kind to and being kind to yourself. Win-win right?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, kindness also helps reduce stress and improve our emotional well-being.
And this doesn't have to be a big, expensive gesture - it could just be a text or call out of the blue, a token gift or a bunch of flowers.
Whatever you decide, we are sure they will love it. And so will your brain.
4. Bake Bread
Hear us out, baking might not be your strong point, but it doesn't knead to be too complex (see what we did there?!) There are loads of different bread varieties that are surprisingly easy, don't use too many ingredients and are inexpensive.
Try this one which uses just two ingredients:
Easy flatbread recipe
125g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
285g natural yoghurt
Method: Combine natural yoghurt with flour, pinch salt, and mix until a dough is formed. On a floured surface, knead until combined, split into four equal parts, and then roll the dough to a 2cm thickness. Heat in an oiled frying pan and cook for 2 minutes on both sides or until golden brown.
Serving suggestions: Dip into a curry or fill with your favourite ingredients to make a flatbread wrap.
See - easy, delicious and very satisfying! Take that Blue Monday 2023!!
5. Have a Pamper Day
Give yourself an hour if a day is way too much to hope for.
We bet you got some lovely new smellies for Christmas which will sit in your bathroom cabinet until next December.
Well , this year - crack them out early!
Run a nice bubble bath or have a warm shower using some of your lovely new toiletries. Self-care isn't selfish; you deserve this pamper sesh.
When getting out, take your time - moisturise, body butter up, slip on your fluffy dressing gown and relaaaaax.
Unless you're a parent, in which case relax isn't in your vocabulary - we feel you.
6. Start A Book
Notice we said to start a book, not read a book.
Let's be realistic here, you're busy, and we get that. Society says we must do this, must do that - it's stressful, right?
And we know there are great reads out there right now but who has the time?! But could you start a book and see where it takes you?
There's that classic quote "lose yourself in a good book."
Lose yourself...if Blue Monday 2023 isn't doing it for you right now, take yourself away and get lost in a book.
Preferably somewhere hot and sunny...mmm.
7. Notice the Little Things
And appreciate them. Maybe we are caught up in the social media comparison cycle where everything has to be grand, expensive, fancy 'instagrammable' for them to be enjoyable.
But you know what? Sometimes, the little things bring you the most joy; it's often about tuning in and finding them. It could be the sound of a little one's laughter, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, listening to the birds, the soft fur of your pet, those in-jokes you have with a friend or family that no one else gets but it means something to you, a slice of hot buttered toast.
The little things... mean more to us than we know.
About Colleague Box
Designed to deliver happiness, Colleague Box provides gifting solutions, helping organisations connect with employees, customers, or prospective clients. Gifts are fully branded with your company logo and personalised message, with boxes despatched directly to home or work.
Organisations can choose pre-designed gift ideas or curate their own to suit any occasion, from welcoming new starters to awards evenings, direct mail campaigns, or a simple thank you.
Custom gift portals and address upload templates make multiple recipients a seamless process, whether you’re sending 10 or 10,000 boxes.
Get in touch to discuss your gifting requirements or arrange a visit to our showroom for a brew and some tasty samples!