Blue Monday: Improve your wellbeing

 

The concept of Blue Monday has been around for a while, and is said to be ‘the most depressing day of the year’. We’ve put together some tips on how to improve your wellbeing on Blue Monday and look at how Lowell will work with you if you’re going through a difficult time.

What is Blue Monday? When is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January. In 2021, Blue Monday will be Monday 18th January.

Psychologist Cliff Arnall came up with the concept in 2004, and calculated that this date was ‘the most depressing day of the year’. Supposedly, his formula took into consideration things like the weather, the time since Christmas, and how much debt people had at that point of the year. Using these metrics, he calculated that the third Monday of January was an especially gloomy day.

Is Blue Monday real?

There are some questions about how scientific the research about Blue Monday is. When Cliff Arnall first created his formula, it was as part of a PR story for a holiday company. However, at Lowell we think it’s helpful to use Blue Monday as an opportunity to talk about mental health and wellbeing, and to raise awareness of debt-related issues that you might be facing at this time of the year.

The pressures of Christmas can cause stress and worry during December and January, and the Coronavirus pandemic may be placing more strain on households this year. At Lowell, we understand the pressure to have an ideal Christmas can lead to an increase in household debt that can be difficult to manage. We believe in helping our customers to manage their financial situation, to help you start your journey to becoming debt free with us.

If you’re a Lowell customer and you’re feeling concerned about your debt after Christmas, please get in touch and speak to our supportive team who can talk through your options or help you access independent help.

Am I definitely going to feel sad on Blue Monday?

There’s no guarantee that you’ll feel sad on Blue Monday, so don’t let the idea of it cause you additional stress. The date was calculated because of some of the common reasons that people may feel low in January, like having low motivation levels or not keeping up to New Year’s resolutions. It’s possible that these things will make you feel disheartened in January, but you may not feel particularly sad or low on the day in question.

Depression and mental health issues can occur at any time and can be more serious than a single day. We understand that having debt can cause stress, which might make you feel worried or upset. If you feel you are struggling with your mental health during January, or at any time of the year, please reach out for help and assistance. We work with independent charities and organisations like the Samaritans and Mind, who can offer free support and advice about mental health.

How can I improve my wellbeing on Blue Monday?

If you do find yourself feeling sad or low on Blue Monday, there are things you can do to help manage those feelings and improve your wellbeing. Here are a few suggestions for how to beat Blue Monday, or for any time that you’re feeling low.

Get active and spend time outdoors

You might not feel much like spending time outside in January but being active can help your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that can help you to feel calmer and happier. You don’t have to pay for expensive gym subscriptions or pricey equipment. Try going for a walk at lunchtime or get off your bus a few stops earlier to fit in some exercise. Getting out in the winter sunshine can also help your body to produce feel-good hormones, which will also help to regulate your mood and make you feel better. 

Eat and drink the right things

If you’re feeling low on energy, making a healthy meal might seem difficult. But you don’t have to create complicated healthy recipes to look after yourself. Just making sure that you’re eating and drinking the right things can help to improve your mental wellbeing. Here are some tips:

  • Drink enough water (between 6-8 glasses of fluid a day)
  • Plan out your meals in advance to make sure you’re eating enough each day
  • Start your day with a simple breakfast like a banana or wheat cereal to help keep your energy levels up through the day.
  • Try to eat foods which are rich in amino acids, which can help your brain to regulate chemicals and emotions. Amino acids can be found in fish, such as tinned tuna, beans, peas, eggs and cheese.
  • Try to drink less caffeine from tea, coffee or cola, especially before bedtime, to make sure you’re getting healthy amounts of sleep. Switch to decaffeinated versions of your favourite tea and coffee if you’re able to.

You can find more information about how food can help your mood at Mind’s website.

Speak to someone

If you’re really struggling or feeling continuously sad, you should speak to someone. If you can, talk to a loved one and explain how you’re feeling. You don’t have to speak in person. You can chat to them over the phone or via text. They can help you talk about what has been troubling you and find ways to make you feel better.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone you know, consider speaking to a Samaritan. The Samaritans are available 24/7, on every day of the year. They won’t judge you or tell you what to do. If you need to talk to someone, they’ll listen. If you’d rather write down what you’re feeling, you can also contact them via email and get a response within 24 hours. If you need additional support, don’t be afraid to speak to your GP, who can help guide you in what support is available.

Get peace of mind with your debt

If you feel that you’re going to struggle financially this month and your Lowell debt is causing stress or worry that’s negatively impacting your wellbeing, make sure to get in touch. We understand that situations and circumstances change all the time, and we’re here to listen and help you manage your account in a way that suits you. There may be ways that we can support you during your difficult time, so please let us know if you’re struggling.

How can Lowell help if I’m having a hard time in January?

Lowell are here to help you, no matter your situation or circumstances If you have questions about the support we offer, take a look at our guide to debt support. It might also help to take a look at our next steps to see how Lowell will work with you in different situations. For example, if you’re going through a difficult time, we might be able to pause your payments. Whatever your situation is, we’ll give you the space and time you need whilst things are tough.

If you’re going through a difficult time because of the Coronavirus pandemic, check out our guide about how we can help in uncertain times. We’ve made a set of promises to our customers during these difficult times, so that you know you have flexibility and plenty of options with managing your account with Lowell.

No matter what you might think about Blue Monday, we understand that January can be a tricky time. If you’re worried about debt, it’s really important to speak to someone and not get overwhelmed. If you’re going through a difficult time, please get in touch and speak to our supportive team who can talk through your options or help you access independent help. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions and Debt Guidance hub for more information.

Written by Emma Sams on 14 January 2021

 

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