January 16, or the third Monday of January, is known as Blue Monday, which is recognized as the saddest day of the year. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one in five Canadians will experience mental illness in any given year, and an estimated two to three per cent of Canadians are affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
After spending weeks planning, and several days celebrating, the holiday season has ended for another year. January can be a challenging time for people as we settle back into our regular routines, take down the decorations, and are in the thick of winter. This often means more time spent indoors, away from the people we care about most, and anxiously anticipating the longer days and warmth of Spring.
Tips to Help
No matter the time of year, your mental health is, and should always be, top priority. So, let’s discuss some things you can do to help combat Blue Monday.
If you are struggling, isolation can often make sadness worse. Whether it be a close friend, family member, or professional, reach out to someone you can trust and talk to about how you are feeling.
While we love and appreciate social media, it can often be a trigger for those who are struggling. It is easy to compare your situation to others. Immersing yourself in a world that is rooted in only sharing snippets of how people live, can often lead to feeling inadequate. A social media detox may be what you need. We encourage you to stop scrolling, and move your body, read a good book, or start that hobby you have been putting off for years!
Ditch the resolutions
Rather than set resolutions for yourself this year, consider setting a few attainable goals for yourself. Be realistic and try to set ones that are easily measurable so they can be checked off your list when achieved. Even better, you may want to start a gratitude journal. This way, you can focus on what you’re grateful for, rather than what you don’t have, or what you feel should be changed.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, please know there are resources available.
You are not alone, and you matter.