Blue Monday has been known for being the 'gloomiest day of the year' with many people reporting feeling down and depressed on that particular day. But what is really most concerning is that a lot of people tend to minimize the importance of their mental health by attributing it to one day only when–in reality– depression can follow you for a very long time if you do not confront it head on.
Realistically speaking, it's not as if one just suddenly feels better after Blue Monday is done. For many of us, the month of January can be taxing on our mental health for many reasons: fear of new beginnings, societal pressures attached to resolutions, fear of getting older etc. And this state of mind can degenerate rather quickly if not treated adequately.
Expert weighs in on Blue Monday
Dr. Evgenia Stefanopoulou, a leading clinical psychologist for Rightsteps, shares her expert advise on how to overcome this very serious mental health issue:
Depression is not about feeling a bit sad, low or fed up for a few days - which can be a common feature of everyday life. Depression can be an extremely debilitating mental health disorder, and although everyone is different, it is often described as feelings of hopelessness and a total disconnect from all feelings of happiness, which can last for weeks or even months.
She also says that:
It is, therefore, not just a one day event, and what's more, there is no real evidence to suggest that short periods of feeling 'blue', or this one day in particular, can increase our risk of feeling depressed.
Some tips and tricks to fight depression
- You can set realistic goals for yourself that are far more achievable than a major new year's resolution that might be overly ambitious and set you up for failure.
- Learn to have self-compassion in order to accept mistakes, learn from them and move on.
- Remind yourself that things won't always go as planned but what matters is how you can find proactive ways of finding solutions to your problems. Knowing that setbacks are temporary and fixable is key!
- Writing down or keeping a mental log of things we are grateful for on the daily can actually diminish your stress levels and help with anxiety caused by depression.
Finally, one of the more effective ways of fighting depression is to surround yourself with people that will be there for you during tougher times. Reach out to them and you'll be surprised at how eager they are to want to make you feel better!