Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, January 15, 2018

Surviving Blue Monday



Holly Bobbins wants you to smile on blue Monday, surviving blue Monday, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Today is Blue Monday, traditionally the most depressing day of the year, the funny thing is that we've only been taking note of this day for the last four years, perhaps it's a shame that it brings to light just how crushed the population feels on the 3rd Monday of January, I should state now, if you are reading this feeling really depressed please, please talk to someone, either the doctor or the Samaritans, the worst thing about depression is that it's like an abusive relationship, depression isolates you and tells you lies that you are worthless, it gives you anxiety and makes you question everything, it makes you feel like you are wrong in every situation and that everyone else is having more fun than you.  I have been there and I know, the only thing you can do is go and get help.  You can get better, you can live an amazing and fulfilled life, you just might need a little help and guidance to get you back on track, whatever happens though, you need to know, you are worthy, people care and there is always help available.

The January blues however, well they're a little different and it's something that most of us will experience at some point during the darkest month of the winter, is it any surprise when it barely gets light all day?  I know myself from going back to work outdoors on Saturday, the light at 11am was akin to indoor light and when I had finished 4 hours outdoors I was so cold that I wondered if I should have even bothered working this month.  Financially of course we all have to work but some days are more of a slog than others.

January is, as we've already discussed, guilt based, whether you are cross with yourself for feasting over Christmas or the stories and images on TV are bombarding you, making you believe that you are not good enough, just remember, it was those same adverts telling you to feast as much as possible in November and December.

I'm not going to lie, when you are self employed in the jobs I do, January can be bleak financially, no one wants outdoor portraits apart from the 5% who are brave enough to endure the cold, and even then, it's the most rescheduled month due to weather, sickness, I can't ever remember a January where I've exceeded my monthly targets and I think it will always be this way, well unless I move to a tropical paradise filled with sunshine and greenery.

Let's also factor in that last point I just made, in December our houses are twinkly fairy light filled, every corner is light up like some kind of tiny carnival, we have a huge tree (or several) proudly displayed, our houses are never really dark because of those aforementioned twinkly lights so it's no wonder than January in our homes can feel a little bare and colourless. 

Now I may not be able to help with your income, I may not be able to officially shorten January but I'm here to help with cheering things up, you see, there's a way you can brighten things up, well two really, you see this year, I left a lot of my fairy lights up, I have them in my lounge, my kitchen, my bedroom and my hall, the Danish would approve as it's very definitely Hyggelig.  I have another tactic to help with that, house plants, this year instead of being blue, Dobbies, my most favourite garden centres, are encouraging us to go green for blue Monday and thanks to them I now have a lounge filled with the most gorgeous, low maintenance succulents, cacti and a beautiful ginseng.

I change the theming of my fireplace with the months although the candles are a permanent fixture because I am the biggest candle fan, again, those twinkly candlelit evenings really help. So this month, it's really been brightened up with the addition of those gorgeous houseplants, I actually have always wanted a cheery cactus family and they're so low maintenance even I can't kill them.

Cacti from Dobbies, #gogreenforbluemonday mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, how to survive Blue Monday

succulents from Dobbies, #gogreenforbluemonday mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, how to survive Blue Monday

Fichus ginseng from Dobbies, #gogreenforbluemonday mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger, how to survive Blue Monday


I think one of the best things about houseplants is they're much more portable than a Christmas tree and you can even pop them outdoors in the summer months to decorate a nice lunch table if you're having a party, they really won't mind, in fact if it's a hot dry day they'll think you've thrown a party for them!  They're my happy little plant collection and they're definitely going to ensure that my my Blue Monday is a much cheerier affair.

I would also say if you have any sunshine at all today, go stand in it, let it kiss your face for twenty minutes because you will feel so much better and if you can't do that, vitamin D3 can really help, try to get a high strength one though, I mentioned one in my sparkly January article.

Another thing that helps me when I am anxious is to lie down and meditate, if you can't or don't want to meditate just try lying flat for a while and focusing on your breathing, take deep breaths and feel the oxygen circulating your body, at the very worst, you'll fall asleep and naps, well I'm not one to ever discourage a good nap!

Whatever you do today, please, if you can, focus on good things, we may only be halfway through the month, but yay, we're halfway through, a little positivity does really go a long way, now maybe get yourself out from hiding under that blanket, play music loudly, sing along to musicals at the top of your voice and if all else fails, just remember, the nights are getting lighter and it's only 64 days until spring!



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