Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year. Here at PayPlan, we understand that those who live with mental health issues aren’t dictated by a specific date.

If you are feeling particularly down during the cold damp nights and mornings that January brings with it, we have come up with a few steps to take to improve your mood and take some time out for yourself.

1. Exercise

No, we don’t mean forking out for a new gym membership or spending a fortune on new running shoes just to be left in the wardrobe after a few uses, but incorporating more movement into your daily routine.

Why not take a walk on your lunch break at work before you eat, even if it’s just around the block? Or take the stairs rather than the lift, even if it’s just once a day! It is well-known that exercise releases good endorphins, which improves your mood.

2. More ‘you’ time

Have you been meaning to use those bath sets you received at Christmas but haven’t found the time? Make the time! Enjoy a long soak in the bath before you go to bed. Alternatively, put on some feel good music and relax! You’re more likely to get a better night sleep the more relaxed you are.

Taking time for yourself doesn’t need to be time consuming; it might just be taking 5 minutes out of your day. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on the present moment and learning to meditate. The practice has lots of emotional and physical benefits too. There are lots of guides online to get you started with mindfulness!

There has even been research into breathing techniques, outlining the importance of how we breathe and what can affect our oxygen intake. We probably take breathing for granted but just a few small changes in your daily routine could change the way we feel.

3. Stop comparing your life

This is done every single day by people looking at others in the media, on social networking sites, or even just people you pass on a daily basis. Feeling down can often be as a result of a perception of a gap between your actual state and how you want something to be different.

So whether you take time off social media, spend more time with family and friends or even taking the time to write down things that you are grateful for, all of these little things can make you feel better in yourself.

4. Talk to someone

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, there is always someone to talk to.

If you are worried about money and want to talk to someone about debt, then PayPlan are here for you. Call one of our trained advisors today on 0800 716 239 or visit