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10 Ways to Beat the Blues on Blue Monday, 2016.

No one is ever blue at Bella Cakes Niagara. It is hard to be blue in a bakery, when the kitchen is filled with yummy smells and happy customers are filing in and out all day long.

In Canada, we are all too aware of the effects of short winter days and the cocooning that happens during our winter months. After a big rush to the Holiday Season finish line and the relaxing idle time afterwards we can sometimes feel a confused sense of purpose as things fall back into a routine.

We have been encouraged to take stock of out shortcomings and to be resolved to do something about it and when we are about a month past that last of the holidays, we are still only a third of the way into our winter months.

Recently developed for a travel agency was the notion that there is actually a “saddest day of the year” and that day is usually the third Monday in January or the last Monday in January occurring in a full week. This year that day is January 19 or 26 depending on whom you believe.

There is no real saddest day of the year and while it may be an interesting notion it also makes light of the depression that some of our family and friends may feel on any given day of the year.

It would be easy to recommend cake during this time of year to help alleviate the winter blues. Cakes are found at the centre of celebrations and surrounding ourselves with those we love will usually brighten our outlook.

Treating your self in any way can be positively uplifting. From the very simple to the extravagant here are 10 ideas to help you be kind to yourself while you wait patiently for the crocuses to sprout in the spring.

  1. Be Grateful. Take time to consider all the things you have to feel grateful about. The roof over your head, the companionship of friends or fond memories of the season just past. Dwelling on these things that are personal to you will place a little perspective on your outlook and studies have shown that grateful people are usually happy people.

  2. Do something for someone else. Get your mind onto something greater than yourself and self worth and appreciation will follow.

  3. Daydream. Revisit some of your fond memories. Think about places you have been and people you have known. The best times of your life are still with you. Take time to linger on them.

  4. Visit somewhere new. Is there a new coffee spot that just opened up or a nice drive you have wanted to take? Treat a friend to coffee or turn the GPS off and get lost driving in the countryside. New experiences make new memories.

  5. Get moving. Starting with small steps, begin moving more often. Stretching in the mornings or walking away from your desk a couple times a day is a good beginning. Then just be mindful that you are doing a little more and feel good about that.

  6. Learn something. A party trick, a new joke, how to play chess or take a baking class. It is always nice to get a new skill.

  7. Plan something for the future. Spring will come and a good plan for gardening or for fixing up the place will make the job easier and probably cheaper. Develop a vision and go for it.

  8. Get a massage. Relaxing and healthful massages are a great treat. You will feel better and stand a little taller.

  9. Take a vacation or a staycation. Break up the routine with a week away from it all. If flying to the sunny south isn’t in the budget, take the opportunity to kick back away from the ordinary and tour your own region.

  10. Be with people you like. Whether sharing a laugh or pouring out your heart, being with people that you like can bring great comfort to you.

Sadly, some depression cannot be easily shaken off. Perhaps Blue Monday can become a time for us to acknowledge that and open ourselves up to discussions that others may want to have.

Keep in mind that Blue Monday is just a day like any other. And just like on any other day, be on time, be kind and be true to yourself.


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