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How to beat the Blue Monday blues

Last Updated Jan 20, 2020 at 4:26 pm EDT

It’s the third Monday in January and it’s rumoured to be the most depressing day of the year, “Blue Monday.”

There’s no concrete research that backs this claim, but Canadians are feeling the slump in their moods with the onset of winter, less exposure to sunlight, holidays gone by leaving credit card bills astray.

University of Toronto psychology professor Steve Joordens said that the idea behind Blue Monday was started by a travel agency who claimed to have a detailed algorithm behind coining this term. This algorithm might not be accurate but there are several factors that might influence why we feel these blues during the holiday hangover period.

Here are some things you could do to keep your spirits high today and through the winter.

Getting less sunlight impacts the mood.

“Taking a walk and getting out during a sunny day or having light therapy at home, would help people get the necessary vitamins to lift their moods,” Joordens said.

Socializing also becomes difficult in winter, when all you feel like doing is staying in the warmth of your house.

But Joordens emphasized on “the natural anecdote of re-establishing those social connections with friends and family, getting out and meeting people would also build your mood.”

Lastly, Joordens said being aware that winter is going to be long, having the knowledge that this time is not emotionally uplifting.

“Watching movies, reading aspirational books, crowd out negative thoughts with more things that are more optimistic and listing at least three things that you’re grateful for each day could really help beat those blues.”

He also added that people with a strong social circle are usually at a lower risk of feeling these blues.

“We all have good and bad days, and that slump in mood, that life is not a whole lot of fun right now, that’s something we’re all sensitive to.”