Move More To Beat 'Blue Monday' - "The Most Depressing Day Of The Year"
Sub-Editor’s note (18th Jan 2016):
'Blue Monday' is often called the “most depressing day of the year”, but, according to Mind, there is no scientific basis for this.
As they say, depression is something that can affect people every day of the year – it doesn’t depend on the date.
'Blue Monday' is also potentially dangerously misleading because it might imply that depression is about feeling “a bit low” – a myth that often leads to people disregarding depression as something not worth taking seriously.
That said, the message below about exercise and mental well-being is still an important one.
As ‘Blue Monday’ looms, a national charity is encouraging people to get walking to keep the blues at bay.
‘Blue Monday’, so called because it’s thought to be the most depressing day of the year taking into account weather, debt levels and time since Christmas, occurs on the third Monday of January, this year falling on Monday 18 January.
Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking is encouraging people to get walking to beat the blues.
There are several studies which show the positive effect walking has on mental wellbeing. Physically active people are up to 30 per cent less likely to become depressed, and staying active helps those who are depressed recover (source). Exercise also stimulates endorphins which helps improve sleep quality and reduce the feelings of stress.
Top tips for beating the blues alongside exercising include eating well, socialising and getting as much daylight as possible.
Rachel Maycock, Living Streets Wales Manager, said:
“The benefits of exercise on our physical health are often promoted but exercise has very positive effects on our mental health too.
“Walking boosts happiness levels, which is especially important during the winter months when many of us travel to and from work in the dark.
“We’re encouraging people to go for a lunchtime walk with friends or colleagues to ensure they’re getting out in the daylight hours, socialising and getting some exercise – all of which will help with the winter blues.”
Symptoms of depression include fatigue, apathy, disturbed sleep or becoming withdrawn. Those experiencing more persistent issues should visit their GP.
If you have any concerns about depression, anxiety or, indeed, anything, please contact Meic - online, via their helpline on 080880 23456, or text 84001 (all their advice is free and confidential).
You can also read young people's experiences with depression under 'Articles' below and you can read many depression questions and answers in Aunty Sprout.
Image Credit: Norman Wnuck via Compfight cc