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How to survive the most depressing day of the year

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It’s a new year and we’re half-way through January – the most miserable month of the year.

The magic and excitement of the festive season is officially over, the weather is cold and often bleak making us feel deflated with nothing on the horizon to look forward to.

You might also be feeling guilty for over indulging at Christmas or you might be struggling to keep your New Year’s resolution going. Is it any surprise that today is known as ‘Blue Monday’, considered to be ‘the most depressing day of the year’?

Most of us are likely to be all spent up after an expensive Christmas, attending festive parties and celebrations, and treating ourselves in the January sales. Now, the bills have started to arrive and it still feels like a long way to payday.

Quite often when we head into a new year, we reassess our lives and think about what we have achieved during the last year.

This can make us feel down if we feel as though our lives haven’t moved any further forward.

Also, it can make us re-evaluate our relationships and the pressure of financial issues and generally feeling low can put significant pressure on an already unstable relationship.

Did you know January is the most common month for couples to get divorced?

But it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. If we take control of things and introduce a few key disciplines we can ward off the January Blues and create a great platform to help us enjoy the rest of the year.


Professor Ewan Gillon, chartered psychologist and clinical director of First Psychology Aberdeen offers tips on how to beat the January blues.



There’s a reason why gym memberships tend to soar at this time of year! If we’ve eaten and drunk too much over the festive period we can feel sluggish and guilty for overindulging, especially if our clothes are feeling a little snug.

By exercising, you’re not only shifting the festive weight, but you’re releasing endorphins in the brain, boosting your mental health and lifting your mood.



Did you overspend at Christmas?

Being in debt can make us feel guilty, anxious and depressed. Deal with your debt head-on instead of ignoring bills and hoping they go away – they won’t!

Make a payment plan and spread it over a realistic period of time to make repayments manageable and keep reassessing month by month to help you stay on target.

Review your spending and consider what regular costs can perhaps be pared back or stopped altogether, at least until your bank account is looking a little healthier. This will make you feel more in control of your finances, helping you to break free of the low that ‘dept-pression’ can bring


Women Friends Enjoyment Coffee Times Concept

Most of us use the excuse ‘we’re too skint’ to avoid socialising at this time of year. However, there are plenty of free things to do. Why not meet up with friends and go for a walk, or check out event listing websites which often have a whole host of free events listed in your area? It doesn’t have to include often expensive food and drink costs to be fun.


declutter concept (keep, recycle, trash, sell, donate - handwriting on color sticky notes against black paper background

Why not throw away anything you don’t use or need any more to make room for your new Christmas gifts? De-cluttering shouldn’t just be confined to your wardrobe – it can include kitchen cupboards, your desk, handbag, attic or garden shed and is a great way to boost our mental health – as well as reducing stress it can help give us a sense of achievement and help us let go of negative energy.


Top view of smart phone, coffee, pen and notepad

You might feel as though you don’t have the money just now to book a holiday, but that doesn’t stop you planning one! If you are going away in the summer, why not start researching your destination now? Viewing warmer destinations and visualising having fun in the sun gives you something to look forward to, even if you haven’t actually booked it yet.

Remember, it’s normal to feel down at this time of year, but if your low mood starts to affect your everyday life then it’s important to seek help so speak to a counsellor or see your GP.