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What is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year. But, spoiler alert, it is nothing more than a 16-year old marketing idea that has gone viral every year since it was made up.

The date was thought up on a bogus equation of debt level, time until next payday and bank holiday, and the weather. Despite all of that, there’s no denying that 2020 was a rough year for our finances and mental health, so Blue Monday popping up amidst a pandemic is quite unwelcome.

Read PayPlan’s top tips to get 2021 off to a bright start.

1. Keep active

If you can, we cannot stress the importance of doing some physical activity every day. Whether you go for a brisk walk, a long run or a cycle through the park, getting some fresh air and having a change of scenery is important for your mental and physical health. Of course, please follow the Government’s guidelines when it comes to leaving the home – we hope to get back to normality soon!

If you can’t move around as freely right now, focus on keeping your mind active while indoors. Games, quizzes and puzzles are great ways to keep your brain focused and making the time to challenge yourself (maybe against others) will make the lockdown go that little bit quicker.

2. Make time to unwind

Even though we are limited as to what we can do right now, making time to unwind is important so you feel less stressed and can get better sleep. Simple things like reading, writing and listening to your favourite music can make a world of difference. So, try your best to find some time in the day for a bit of ‘you time’.

3. Stay busy

You may have unfinished projects around the home that have been put off due to lack of time, but it’s hard to find an excuse now! Set yourself a goal to put up that shed, paint the spare bedroom or de-clutter the kitchen.

Maybe you’ve been meaning to take up a new hobby or get back into something that was put off a while ago. There is no better time to get back on the horse and challenge yourself – why not ask a friend to join you for an extra bit of support or competitiveness? Whether you’re cooking or crafting, the possibilities are endless!

4. Keep talking

Thanks to the emergence of video tools like Zoom, keeping in touch with family and friends has never been easier. Create time for regular catch-ups and make this a part of your weekly routine, so you have a clear plan and something to look forward to on a regular basis. Don’t worry if you don’t have any news to share, we’re all in the same boat and it’s just nice to talk sometimes!

Samaritans have turned Blue Monday on its head this year and re-branded it Brew Monday. This campaign encourages people to have a virtual cuppa and chat – a great idea for battling any negative feelings.

5. Tackle any worries head-on

If you’re feeling down or worried about something one of the best things to do is to talk to someone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trusted friend or a stranger from organisations such as Samaritans or Mind, taking the first step and opening up will help.

If you’re struggling with debt, free debt help companies like PayPlan are there to help. The sooner you deal with your money worries head-on, the quicker you will take the pressure off yourself and feel better about the future.