Blue Monday, typically the third Monday in January is reported to be the day when we feel at our lowest each year. Thanks to a combination of bad weather, low levels of sunlight, being back at work after holidays, post-Christmas finances and feeling guilty for already breaking our New Year’s resolutions.

While there’s no scientific proof that this is the most depressing day of the year, the ‘Blue Monday’ name – coined for a travel company press release – has stuck. So, on a day that many of us might dread, we’ve decided to use today as an opportunity to take stock and drive awareness for the importance of strengthening our mental health and physical wellbeing.

Self-care has become so important over recent years. Contrary to the ‘woman in a hot bubble bath’ stereotype, self-care is simply the act of taking time to focus on yourself. You allocate certain time during each day, or even just weekly, to put your stressors on the back burner, with the goal of improving your mental health. The past few years has been complete chaos, and as such, an increase and focus on mental health has taken centre stage. 

Here are a few things that you can do to give yourself a necessary dose of self-care:

  1. Keep Active – dedicate some time to moving around, be it that winter walk or a new spin class. Exercise is essential for boosting your mood, self-esteem, energy and sleep quality.
  1. Eat well – A lack in nutrients — or the wrong balance of nutrients — can rob you of energy and keep you from doing what you need to do. Some of the best nutrients and foods containing antidepressant properties include:
    – Folate: spinach, oranges, mustard greens, broccoli
    – Iron: oysters, lentils, spinach, dark chocolate
    – Omega-3 fatty acids: salmon, herring, walnuts, flaxseeds
    – Vitamin A: green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin, carrots
    – Vitamin C: red bell peppers, orange, strawberries, cauliflower
    – Zinc: oysters, lobster, crab, almonds
  1. Take Breaks – from your workstation for 5 to 10 minutes every hour – this can help prevent pain and fatigue. Whether you choose to get a drink or do some stretches, your body will thank you.
  1. Maintain Your Work/Life Balance – the lines between work and homelife can blur when you work from home, so be clear on your time parameters and set boundaries. You don’t always have to be ‘available’. If you have space for a designated workspace that you can walk away from, that will help you switch off.
  1. Stay Connected – keep in touch with your manager and team, as much as your friends and family. From formal catch ups to coffee dates, building and maintaining relationships help you feel less isolated, alone and stressed. Equally, it’s a good way to ensure people within your network are okay. You could even join in the Samaritans’ Brew Monday. The charity is encouraging people to get together over a warming cuppa, with the aim of turning Blue Monday into something worth smiling about.
  1. Listen to a Podcast – Many studies have been done on the benefits of podcasts, and what they do for people mentally. One study proves that podcasts stimulate mental imagery more intensely than watching or reading, and cause listeners to have to pay more attention. Podcasts also help us become better listeners and to enrich our minds by expanding our knowledge and enabling us to learning new things. There is nothing to lose by making podcasts a part of your regular lifestyle, and essentially everything to gain. Whether you want to learn a new skill, keep up with the news, handle your finances better, or need a pep talk, there is a podcast out there for you!
  1. Get consistent with your Beauty Regimen – Great skin is not simply a matter of DNA — your daily habits, in fact, have a big impact on what you see in the mirror. Regardless of whether you’re male or female, start with the consistent practice of:

    Cleansing — Washing your face. 
    Toning — Balancing the skin.
    Moisturizing — Hydrating and softening the skin.

It’s a challenging world out there, and looking after yourself is key, especially when you’re a business owner. If you need any support with tackling the challenges of today, tomorrow and even yesterday then don’t be a stranger. Whether it’s energy solutions you need, or just simply someone on the other end of the phone, Fusion for Business are always here for you – simply get in touch.