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Beating Blue Monday: How to take care of your mental health this New Year

Between dark morning starts, cold spells and tight finances, January can be an especially tough month for many of us. It can feel pretty glum whatever the day but "Blue Monday", the name given to the third Monday in January, is widely acknowledged as the most depressing day of the year.

The day itself is based on a scientifically flawed "equation" from a 2005 press release but with 1 in 4 of us experiencing depression at some point in our lives, the day offers an opportunity to reflect on our mental health wellbeing.

2021 was a challenging year for many people with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic causing chaos for millions. From furlough to family loss, the past twelve months have been hard and it’s important to take time for yourself amongst the business of everyday life.

If you’ve not been feeling yourself for a while, take time to find out more about mental health, how you can improve your mood and discover local services which are available to help.

If you’re feeling low, there are steps you can take at home to help lift your mood.

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing Principles are designed to help you stay connected with others, activate your brain, and make you feel good. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life.

  1. Connect with other people
  2. Be physically active
  3. Learn new skills
  4. Give to others
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

The NHS website has more information on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing including practical examples of things you can try.

The NHS website contains lots of information about mental health and wellbeing. You can also get a free Mind Plan with tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety and improve your sleep on the Every Mind Matters website.

Remember, your GP is there to support you too – physically and mentally – and can refer you to the right service if you need mental health advice.

If you or a loved one are experiencing a mental health crisis, you can call the First Response helpline 24-hours a day for advice and support on 0808 196 3494.

If you’re aged 16 or over, Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney offer online webinars, one-to-one support and guided self-help which you can self-refer to. You can visit them online or call 0300 123 1503.



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