Dark, dismal nights, post Christmas blues, credit card bills and a pay day that’s still ever so slightly out of reach. Enough to make anyone have a blue Monday, these are supposedly factors behind the gloomiest day of the year.
I’ve heard it tossed around as of recently that Blue Monday isn’t actually a real thing, but in fact just a make believe concept invented by PR people in a trendy office somewhere. While I’d probably be willing to bet the last of my dwindling pay cheque on that, it’s easy to see where the concept came from. January can be a dreary, dull month of chilly nights in front of the telly, with no money and not even a fairy-lit tree to brighten the evening.
Whether you believe there’s any science behind Blue Monday or not, it’s the perfect time of the month to be gentle with yourself. With New Year’s Resolutions possibly long forgotten (I’ve actually managed to keep mine up! Read about my resolutions here) and the last whisps of warmth and good cheer from the festive season faded from memory, it’s so easy to begin to feel drained, uninspired and trapped in tedious routine.
So what to do? Well, why not treat the so called bleakest day of the year as a day to put you first? Whether you can take a whole day or only manage a few moments to yourself, there are lots of little or large ways you can nourish, care for and treat yourself to make it a ‘You’ Monday rather than a Blue Monday. See what I did there?
5 Self Care Somethings you can do for ‘You’
1. Allow yourself to take time out
No matter what act of self care you’re doing, the most important step is to fully allow yourself to take that time for yourself. Our subconscious mind can to us taking a little time out with guilt, because we’re so trained to believe we should be productive, busy and on the go at all times. Or, we can feel restless and on edge, and like we’re unable to fully relax no matter what we do. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to us being able to let go and relax completely can be a mental block. It’s so important to remember time out for you is essential and worthwhile, and to consciously remind yourself of this before you settle down into your ‘you’ time. State to yourself in your head, or better yet, out loud, that this is your time, that you allow yourself to take as much time as you need for your chosen activity, and that you fully deserve it. That way you won’t be distracted or on edge, but focused on what you’re doing instead.
2. Take a long, hot bath or shower
Instead of rushing through your usual shower routine, take your time and really nourish yourself. Getting out your best bath bombs or a fancy shower gel and enjoying a long, hot bath or shower will not only leave you feeling fresh, but can refresh your mind too! Some relaxing music and a few candles can never go amiss either. Ariana Grande’s back catalogue of music is my personal favourite bath soundtrack, and (literally) throw in a Lush Twilight bath bomb with it’s relaxing lavender scent, and it’s heaven.
3. Cook your favourite comfort food
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – baked potato with ham, beans and cheese and a dollop of sour cream is my go to when I’m in need of something tasty and warming. Throw out any guilt or feelings of judging foods based on good or bad for this, and just go with what makes you feel full and warm and comforted. A big bowl of cheesy pasta or veggie soup are also some go tos of mine, but go for whatever dish makes your mouth water at thought. You’re worth it!
4. Inspire your excitement for Spring and Summer
If January does feel to be dragging, having a few plans in place to look forward to in the coming months can be a massive pick me up. If you’re feeling the pinch till’ payday, you can plan something cheap and cheerful like a nature walk (Culcaigh boardwalk is beautiful in Springtime), a catch up over coffee with some friends, or just a movie night in with snacks. Or, you can take a little time out to research your next travel adventure leaving you all ready to put your deposits down when the money hits your bank account. These dull months usually feel a lot faster when you’re counting down days!
5. Be Gentle with yourself
Everyone feels a little tired and fed up with the whole lot of it sometimes. If you’re having a particularly tough day (or week, or month) just let yourself curl up, forget responsibilities or expectations for a little while if you can, and let go of the day and it’s difficulties. Going easy on yourself can be the greatest act of self care and putting yourself first that you can do. Remember, nobody has it figured out, no matter how much it might seem like they do, and try to congratulate yourself for your achievements, big or small.
Whether you’re feeling blue or far from it, how are you planning to spend your Blue Monday? Will you be trying any of these, or something else? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading – I hope you enjoyed!
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