GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Monday is observed on the third Monday of January and is said to be the most depressing day of the year due to post-holiday debt, cold weather, lack of sunshine and several more weeks of winter ahead.
This self-declared day of sadness brings awareness to mental health and how to avoid winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Both can be caused by lack of sunlight, decreased exercise and living somewhere with short days and less sunlight. This brings on moodiness, gloom and feelings of hopelessness.
- Check out a flick. Watch a movie that is guaranteed to make you laugh and crack a smile. And have some popcorn while you're at it.
- Drop and give me 20. Get your endorphins pumping by moving more, taking a walk, or spending 20 or 30 minutes doing something you enjoy that increases your heartbeat at the same time. All physical activity decreases feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Skip the Twinkies. Steer clear of processed foods and junk food despite your urges! Resist the temptation and grab an apple or Greek yogurt instead.
- Treat yourself. Go get a massage, get your hair done or do something that will make you feel better about yourself.
- Volunteer. Give back to your local community. It's MLK Day after all, and Martin Luther King was committed to social justice and community service.
Dr. Skillings says if you have a serious case of the blues (lasting a couple weeks,) or if you experience suicidal thoughts, immediately talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. There are many options for depression, anxiety and SAD including light therapy, cognitive-behavioral talk therapy (CBT) and antidepressant medications.
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SOURCE Spectrum Health