WHY DOES BLUE MONDAY HAVE TO BE SO… BLUE?
Post-Christmas blues, dark gloomy mornings and failed new year resolutions can only mean one thing: it’s officially Blue Monday. Despite the name, and the apparently-scientific calculation as ‘the gloomiest day of the year’, us ilksters aren’t letting one depressing day get us down! Instead, we’re sharing our very own self-care secrets to help us be more mindful.
We’ve pulled together our very best tips and tricks on how we pull ourselves out of the January slump, and stay mindful during the coldest and dreary-est month of the year.
Why’s it important to be mindful?
Our minds are full of mental noise and chatter. That can distort our view of the world, making it hard to stay present and enjoy what’s right in front of you. Life can quickly become more exhausting and more overwhelming, leading to a spiral where everything just seems too much. *Queue meltdown and a weekend of hiding away from the world in bed.*
But it doesn’t have to be this way. By practising mindfulness, we can halt this spiral and change the way our brain responds to our environment meaning we no longer just get by, but instead are able to grow and flourish.
It might sound a little philosophical, but it’s something we strongly believe in and build into our office culture wherever possible. Not by gathering the crew for mass meditation or psychotherapy sessions, but through little actions and moments of support.
Last year we partied together, that’s for sure. But it’s not all about the booze. We hosted office Mario Kart tournaments. We fired up the ovens for a Bakeoff sweepstake. We committed to Mental Health Awareness Month with pottery classes and facial treatments. We got together for office lunches. And there were dogs. So many dogs.
Basically, we kept ourselves on the mindfulness train and set up a firm foundation for 2023. But it’s not all about what ilk can do for you. Think also about what you… can do… for yourself. Like these ilksters!
Emilia – Messy bed, stressy head
‘I clean when I’m stressed as having a messy space stresses me out even more!’
Amber – Shake it off, shake it off
‘When I’m feeling blue, or stressed or overwhelmed I usually go for a drive, turn up the music (99% of the time it’s timeless Taylor Swift tunes) and end up wherever my wheels take me.’
Matt – Keep on running
‘I run most days, but when I’m stressed it’s so easy to find excuses not to. I always regret that! The exercise is exactly what I need to get my head back, rather than sitting in front of a laptop trying to solve a problem that can wait until tomorrow.’
Rich – A boy, a bike, a baguette
‘Getting outside is always good, and I try and get a bike ride in whenever possible. If there’s a tasty baked item at the other end of the bike ride then all the better!’
Shauna – If you go into the woods today…
‘I take a long dog walk with my beagle! Usually with a flask of tea and my headphones in… It’s the only time I avoid my passion for True Crime, though. The woods are scary!’
Mel – Cooking Queen
‘I like to put some music on and cook. Simple as that.’
Stacey – Puppuccinos all round
‘I love to get moving – a yoga class, a gym session or just a walk in the woods. Finishing off with a coffee from our local coffee shop (and of course a puppuccino for the pooch!).’
Patsy – Sorted!
‘I like to rearrange or organise basically everything. Like yesterday, I went through all my makeup and sorted it out and then rearranged my kitchen cupboards (wild I know).’
Ruth – Tackle the stress
‘My self care moments are playing tag rugby, which is a good destresser for me. I also find doing a jigsaw puzzle quite relaxing! Bit of a change of pace from the rugby.’
Becca – Sketch it out
‘When I get stressed, I like to take a walk with a podcast and find a nice little spot to sit and draw.’
Katie – Skin care to the max
‘Every Sunday when my flatmate and I get the pre-Monday blues (we’re usually in our comfies and skincare-d to the max at this point) we light some nice candles and pull some affirmation cards. I have a set from a brand called Lethally Her which are brutal but brilliant.’
Stew – Putt an end to stress
‘I like to hit golf balls at the driving range. Although sometimes if it’s not going great this can add to the stress.’
Beth – Blanket Burrito
‘When I’m stressed I feel I need to exercise and get it out of my system! I’ll either go to the gym or if I can’t be bothered, just pop a YouTube video on even if just for 30 mins. Then, I’ll have a long shower, put my comfies on and watch a show that I’ve probably seen 10,000 times before. That’s how I switch off!’
Megan – Get lost in another world
‘To relax, I like to put on some candles and music and read a good book.’
It’s your turn!
Big or small, it’s important to take steps to look after yourself and others. I hope these tips gave you some inspiration and from everyone here at ilk, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year. Take care out there.