The Blue Monday Survival Guide – ten top tips
B: Balance – perspective is everything. So write down every negative situation or feeling you have at the moment and then, for each one, make yourself write a positive. Don't stop until you have as many positive things and feelings as you have negative. Next, review the list and remind yourself that there is balance in your life.
L: Listen to your self-talk – notice how you talk to yourself in your own mind. Catch yourself when you speak negatively and look for ways to turn those into positive thoughts. Ask yourself – what's the upside that I've learnt from that mistake/failure/issue that I'm beating myself up about?
U: Unfollow – we all have those people we follow who we know are ‘toxic' influences in our social media feed. Whether it's constant negative media stories, that person who always moans/rants or indulges in "sadfishing" or, dare I say, that ex who's activity you continue to "monitor" (stalk seems a little harsh, but you know who you are...). It's simple – unfollow them!
E: Exercise – the power of exercise is well known for improving our mental health as well as our physical health. That doesn't change the fact that starting a new exercise regime or going to a public gym can be daunting, so just move - dance around at home, walk briskly outside, run up and down the stairs – it all helps… no one is asking you to become an athlete.
M: Meditation – there are numerous free Apps you can use for guided meditation. The benefits for your mind (and your body according to increasing amounts of research) are amazing. Just ten minutes a day is all the time investment it needs in our busy lives and you can find a better sense of calm.
O: Overwhelm – it's natural to feel overwhelmed sometimes, so just know that we all do and it's not just you. One of the best ways to combat that feeling of overwhelm is to remind yourself of your competence to handle difficulty. Do this by writing down some of the tough situations you've ever dealt with: big or small, at home or at work. Be reassured that you have what it takes to get through whatever you're facing right now, because you've done it before.
N: Nothing stays the same – the world constantly moves forward, so know that whatever you're going through now will change. In fact, you adapt all the time, in different situations, to the people you meet, so you're already a master of change. No-one is perpetually happy or constantly sad: have faith that if it's tough now, it will get better.
D: Don't compare - remember that all those ‘perfect life' posts on social media are the edited highlights and not the entirety of someone's life. You need to do ‘you' and know that everyone is just doing their best, exactly like you are.
A: Accept help – and if it's not offered, ask! There are no prizes for struggling alone and you'll be amazed at how many people are flattered when you ask them to help you; it shows them you believe they have skills or experience that are of value and that makes them feel good – so you both win!
Y: Start saying "yes" (not to drugs or getting into cars with strangers, obviously), but do make a conscious effort to begin agreeing to try new things and meet new people. Start expanding your life and looking beyond yourself. Accept that date, go with a friend to a new restaurant, take up that hobby - challenge makes your brain work in different ways and will lift your mood.
Carolyn Hobdey is a transformational change expert, life mentor and confidence coach, author and Founder/CEO of MayDey Ltd which helps people manage change in their personal and professional lives. Her debut book, All The Twats I Met Along The Way (memoir) Filament Publishing, £14.99, paperback and ebook, is out now.