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Blue Monday 2022, the most depressing day: how to keep your spirits up?

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Get out your plaids and your hot chocolate mugs: Blue Monday is here. Like every year, this third Monday in January is supposed to be most depressing of the year. It must be said that in the heart of winter, after the excitement of the end-of-year celebrations, there is enough to see life in gray.

Morale already at rock bottom due to the pandemic

If the month of January is a period traditionally conducive to gloom, the health context amplifies this phenomenon even more. The Covid-19 epidemic has had a particularly strong impact on our morale. According to the latest study conducted by Public Health France, the health crisis has acted as a catalyst for mental health problems in France.

“The spread of the virus has been accompanied by a rise in concern about infection and the implementation of socially restrictive measures, an essential dimension of well-being. isolation, reduced physical activity, increased stress, boredom, the organization of work from home coupled with the management of family life, etc. are all factors that can have an impact on mental health”, underlines the agency.

According to the latest survey CoviPrev, conducted from November 30 to December 7, 2021 and led by Public Health France (source 1):

  • 18% of French people show signs of depression;
  • 23% of French people show signs of an anxious state;
  • 68% of French people report sleep problems in the last 8 days;
  • 10% of French people had suicidal thoughts in 2021.

What is Blue Monday?

What is less known, however, is that this theory was originally developed for a advertising campaign. The British company “Sky Travel” wanted to encourage its travelers to fly to sunny destinations. One stunt smoothly conducted.

Why Blue Monday?

The nickname “Blue Monday” refers to the English expression “to feel blue“, in other words, feel blue. It must be said that in general, Monday is not so synonymous with celebrations. It is often the most complicated day of the week. That of recovery. Depression.

Add to that the cold, the lack of light, nostalgia for the holidays, a bank account in remission, the premature end of our good resolutions and the Covid-19 epidemic… this third Monday of January quickly becomes the point of particularly negative convergences. If Blue Monday is more of a marketing concept, the winter blues are very real. And we can fight it!

  • Eat anti-depression foods, who participate in the production of serotonin, also called the “happiness hormone” because it regulates mood. If dark chocolate is one of the best known, also think of fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, and fatty fish rich in omega-3 which activate the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that regulates biological rhythms.
  • Listen to a song that gets you pumped over and over again! Whether you are a fan of metal, disco, rock or classical music, certain music will help you chase away negative thoughts. Avoid ballads that are too melancholic if possible and prefer songs with positive lyrics, a fast tempo, and notes in a major scale.
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  • Seek the light at all costs : spend a little time outside every day, for example at lunch break, in natural light, it’s good for your morale. And take advantage of this bowl of light to walk for about fifteen minutes… If the symptoms of this winter blues persist, use light therapy and ask your doctor for advice. He can also prescribe you, if necessary, vitamin D supplementation.
  • Move as much as possible : as throughout the year, physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and improve well-being. We decompress, we eliminate and we build muscle.
  • Take care of your sleep. Poor quality or insufficient sleep affects different parts of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. It thus amplifies mood disorders and anxiety. To remedy this and enjoy a restful sleep, bet on full nights from 7 to 9 am.
  • your pet can also be your best ally against anxiety and loneliness. Numerous studies have shown that the presence of cats or dogs in a home can significantly reduce the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) of its occupants.
  • Don’t forget to laugh and smile! It’s not because the bars, cinemas and performance halls are closed that you have to leave your good mood in the closet. Many comedians now broadcast their show on social networks or on streaming platforms. Likewise, whether you are a fan of vaudeville, auteur cinema or musicals, a great deal of content is available online, for our greatest pleasure. To consume without moderation !
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