Blue Monday: Things you can do to help yourself on the worst day of the year

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Apparently Monday 20th January is Blue Monday. This name is given to the 3rd Monday of the month which is meant to be the most depressing day of the year. Whether you believe this statement or not, in this post I share some tips of things you can do to help yourself get through it, or to implement just because you want to do a bit of self-development – theyโ€™re perfect for any time or day of the year when you need a little motivation or encouragement.

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Learn to do some exercise

Exercise is simply brilliant for both our physical health and our mental health. I’m really starting to build it in to my day, and am learning what I like and don’t like, and what helps me manage my pain and what makes it worse.

In addition to the walking that I do every day, over the last few months I’ve been getting in to strength training workouts and flexibility stuff. I’ve learnt how beneficial strength training is, and that the older we get the more important it is. Some stuff can really affect my pain and make it worse, but some stuff is really helpful and can help me manage my pain better.

I highly recommend learning what you can do within your limits and capacities and trying to do some simple exercises or to build in a daily or weekly exercise workout routine. It’s really important to speak to the professionals to learn what you can and can’t do.

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I was lucky and received some free remote sessions with Laura, Managing Director at Squat Ltd – I received the sessions in exchange for a Trust Pilot review – I am not affiliated or linked with in any way.) I wanted to learn how I could improve my core strength and Laura worked me to understand my pain, limitations, and what I enjoy doing, and wrote me a training plan.

Laura believes that the benefits of an active lifestyle translate into all areas of life, especially when it comes to chronic pain. She know by experience that by having fun, exercise and life in general becomes easier. A sufferer herself, Laura is a specialist in exercise for Low Back Pain and referral for a number of conditions that benefit from exercise including stress and anxiety, diabetes, COPD.

Laura offers online personal training and exercise coaching as well as face to face and corporate sessions in the Sheffield area. 

You can learn more about Laura on Instagram and Facebook.

Choose Blue Monday to make a plan of what you can do to build some exercise in to your life.

Prioritise the small stuff

We often feel we need to be spending huge amounts of time on things that are going to make us feel better: 45 minutes at the gym, an hour’s reading of self-development books, 30 minutes of mindfulness or meditation, the list goes on. But really, we should be prioritising short bursts of time on the small things, and aiming to make them a habit.

A brilliant book that can help with this is Feel Better in 5 by Dr Rangan Chatterjee. To make improvements to our body, mind and heart is 5 minutes 3 times a day. Everything in this book takes no more than 5 minutes.

Buy the book on Blue Monday and make a start.

Make it easier to communicate your pain or illness

Telling people about your pain or illness and how it affects you isn’t easy. It can be hard to convey things without feeling judged or that people don’t believe you. Sometimes you don’t actually want to say the words for fear of drawing attention to yourself and making a fuss. But you still feel you need to tell people so that they understand – as best they can – and don’t make you feel any worse than what you already do.

I’ve recently purchased some items from Stickman Communications. Their mission is:

To create understanding and acceptance of disability as a different normal, through producing products which enable individuals to create the accessibility they need.

I love these extremely useful cards to help explain my disability and how my pain affects me

They have a range of products to help people communicate about disability, medical conditions, symptoms, needs and conditions. The stickmen cartoons are combined with simple text explanations that helps get messages across to other people.

Making the communication side a lot easier and simpler can really improve your wellbeing and make you feel better.

Visit the website on Blue Monday and seek out what could be suitable for you to use.

Sign up for an online chronic illness yoga course

I wrote a review post a while back on the Yoga for Chronic Illness online course. This is a 6 week course that can help you reduce your pain and fatigue. The course runs once a year, and begins on 27 January 2020.

Sign up for the course on Blue Monday.

Keep busy

Anything to keep your mind busy and distract yourself will help you stop thinking how youโ€™re feeling on Blue Monday or at any time you need to cope with your pain or negative thoughts.

Read more in my post all about distraction and how you cam make it a part of your pain management toolbox.

I love receiving comments and always appreciate any social media shares. Please follow my blog or subscribe to keep updated on new posts to help you cope with your chronic pain or help others to learn more about it.

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4 thoughts on “Blue Monday: Things you can do to help yourself on the worst day of the year

  1. Rachael Stray | says:

    Some great tips here. I think breaking things down and tackling the smaller stuff first is such a good idea. One thing that has helped me since becoming a mam is the mantra “do something your future self will thank you for”. Waking up to a messy kitchen was making me feel anxious and down so I try to do a quick tidy up before bed and honestly it makes me feel so much lighter and motivated.

  2. Invisibly Me says:

    Oooo I love those Stickman Communications bits and bobs, so cool. I forgot about Blue Monday this year – you’ve made some great suggestions to cover different areas. Quite interested in the sound of the 5 minute book, makes most things more manageable when you break it down like that. Great post as always – I hope Blue Monday treats you kindly! xx

    • Alice says:

      Blue Monday was a weird one thing year – lots of bad things happened for other people which made me feel bad for them ๐Ÿ™ Hope you had a good Blue Monday day xx

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