5 ways to nourish mental health this Blue Monday

written by Jessica Lau

For many, the post-Christmas slump brings on a case of the winter blues, exacerbated by the pressure of our often unattainable New Year’s resolutions.

This year, Monday the 15th of January marks Blue Monday, claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. Though this date was originally a marketing ploy invented by a travel company, it does present an opportunity to reflect on your mental health as we begin the year.

Here’s 5 ways you can boost your mental health this Blue Monday.

1. Celebrate old wins

We often reflect on what we haven’t done well or what hasn’t gone as planned last year to set new year resolutions. I invite you to instead give yourself the internal validation and praise you deserve when reflecting on the past year. Celebrate even your smallest wins from last year so you can enter the new year with more inner strength. It’s possible to recognise that you have further to go while acknowledging that you have already come so far.

2. Set themes instead of goals

We often set a long list of goals that can look like an overwhelming to-do list. Try setting themes instead of goals. For example, if your theme is “health”, you can ask yourself mindfully as you move through this year, “What will this do for my health?”

Or, if your theme is courage, before making decisions this year, ask yourself, “Does this serve me polishing my courage?”

Setting themes allows you to be connected to your inner guidance, while staying grounded and making mindful choices this year.

3. Set your own basic system

Beautiful plants have their roots. Glamorous buildings require firm foundations.

Before you set to achieve anything, make sure you have a basic system that works well for you. Your system can look like a routine for meals, getting sunlight, exercise, relaxation, physical and mental therapy.

It is a system that serves as the basis for your body and mind. When your base is strong, you will have better strength for anything you would like to build on top.

4. Be ready to disappoint

As you live closer to your heart’s desires and become more authentic, it is only natural that you will have to let some people down.

Not everyone will be happy with your choices and your growth. Know that the discomfort of letting people down is a natural feeling and progress if you decide to choose more of yourself this year. Be ready to grieve some relationships but also remember those who are meant for you will be happy to see you choose yourself.

5. Accept that you will not be perfect.

You cannot always stick to your new year resolutions and that’s okay.

The idea that we need a new year to set resolutions and to make changes is an illusion. You have a chance to make changes every day, every hour if not every minute.

No need to beat yourself up for setbacks: this just makes you a normal human being. Instead of focusing on the whole year, focus on the next minute. What can you do that serves you right now?

Remember that life is all about balance. Even if your new year’s resolution is courage, it’s okay to feel scared sometimes. It’s okay to take time in your safe space to recharge before recommitting to being courageous. You are enough, just as you are. As with all things, the growth and change that comes with committing to your theme for this year will take time.

Nobody can live this year for us, but we really cannot do this year alone! Remember we are in this together. Stay connected. Here we go!

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