Blue Monday: How are you today?

Since 2004 the third Monday of January has been known as ‘Blue Monday’. Psychologist Cliff Arnall selected the date after constructing a complex mathematical equation which takes into account the weather, debt levels, the time since we’ve failed our New Year’s resolutions and other variables that he deemed likely to be depressing. This is thought to be the day that winter looms more forbiddingly than ever, the joy and festivity of Christmas and the New Year has worn off and the drudgery of being back at work really takes its toll.  This year, that day will fall on the 20th January.

While it’s now been proven to not be true, there’s no specific day that makes you more or less likely to struggle with mental health issues, the concept of Blue Monday remains.  For many of us January in generally often feels just a bit glum. Marketers of all kinds of products have leveraged the bedrock of truth that underpins this day and have offerings such as massages, package holidays, aromatherapy and take away ‘comfort food’, because they’ll tell you, spending money is the easiest way to get through this slump.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), the largest not-for-profit professional association for hypnotherapists in the UK, says around one in seven people are suffering from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK. In January this figure may be higher than an average month; January is a particularly busy time for mental health services. If you’re one of the people affected, waiting for the return of the sun or feeling depressed about your finances and the lack of bank holidays in your immediate future there are things that you can do to help yourself feel better.

The NHS advises that keeping to a structured routine which includes gentle exercise, regular sleep ad nutritious food can be helpful when you’re feeling anxious or depressed. Take some time out to do something that you enjoy that you find absorbing.  Listen to your favourite music, download a meditation app or spend some time digging in the garden.  Whenever you notice yourself feeling anxious or depressed focus on taking 10 deep cleansing breaths, making sure that you’re fully expanding your rib cage and pushing your diaphragm down to get as much oxygen in as possible. Connect with friends and family, rather than isolating yourself or trying to ‘go it alone’.

If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression and feeling as though things are unmanageable a few sessions with a hypnotherapist may help you achieve a different perspective. When you attend sessions with a hypnotherapist you’ll receive targeted and compassionate help with the issues that you’re struggling with as well as be taught skills that will help you in the future.

You may find that the change is subtle, but pervasive. By working with your subconscious mind you’ll notice positive sifts in the way you think and feel about situations that you previously found stressful or avoided. You can expect to feel calmer, more confident and less stressed.

You can find a fully-trained, accredited and insured hypnotherapist near you by using the NCH directory, with nearly 2,000 trained and accredited therapists around the UK there’s sure to be someone near you.