Blue Monday, identified as the third Monday in January, by definition is the most depressing day of the year due to a combination of things including dull winter weather, long nights and the departure of the festive period.

Remaining positive and ambitious when longer nights and warmer days feel so far away can feel challenging. Not to mention society’s take on the dreaded “New Year, New Me” craze where we are pressured to stick to resolutions and quickly start on self-change. Life isn’t always smooth sailing at the best of times. Even without these pressures and expectations, work can be tough, life can be hard, expectations can feel daunting. Looking after your mental health has never been so important, not just because of Blue Monday.

Here’s five top tips to help you look after your mental health:

  1. Go outdoors
    Whether it’s going for a walk, running, or having a coffee on a bench in a park, being outdoors has lots of proven benefits on mental health. Studies have found that bringing nature and the outdoors into your day -to-day life will improve your mood, relieve stress and help you connect to your surroundings.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep
    Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on emotions and performance. The psychological effects of sleep deprivation can affect us massively and significantly impact daily mood. Improve your sleep by creating a calming night-time routine which could include a hot bath, meditation or reading a book.
  3. Drink plenty of water
    Our memory, energy and ability to concentrate can suffer when we’re dehydrated. Mental health can also be impacted by dehydration with research showing that drinking enough water can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety – after all, our brains are made up of 75% water!
  4. Talk ! A problem shared is a problem halved
    Talking about feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. If anything, it is a positive reflection on yourself; you are actively taking that step towards improvement and addressing things that are potential road blockers in your growth, happiness or success.

    Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. It also works both ways. If you open up , it might encourage others to do the same.
  5. Disconnect from technology
    We are living in an era of evolving technology; smartwatches pairing with your smartphones, robot-controlled hoovers and THAT audio recognition device that sits in your home that assists with certain aspects of life; switching on plugs, lights, setting timers and misbehaving when you want to listen to a specific radio station that doesn’t exist unless you say it R E A L L Y slowly. Not to mention social media which can be extremely overwhelming at times.

    Switching off and having a ‘blackout’ hour before bed each night can improve mood and help switch off to get a good nights sleep. This isn’t to say you have to sit in a dark room doing nothing or pick up an actual book, do some yoga or meditation, or even take the time to write down your thoughts and feelings from the day, prepare a to-do list for the next day so that you can relax and switch off without having a million thoughts whizzing through your head when you are trying to go to sleep.

Over the last few years, Identity has invested in Mental Health First Aid training for a number of employees along with creating a workplace where wellness conversations are encouraged, putting the mental wellbeing of the team at the heart of the business.

To find out about current opportunities to join the dynamic team of event professionals, who have a passion for life, supporting each other’s growth and encouraging change, head over to our event industry vacancies.