Blue Monday, the name given to the third Monday in January as it’s claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The date was published in a press release under the name of Cliff Arnall, at the time a tutor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, a Further Education centre attached to Cardiff University. You can understand why – after all, this cold, dark time of year, just enough beyond Christmas and just too far before payday, can often feel pretty bleak. Of course, it’s also something of a metaphor for this time of year in general. Probably more so this year than normal. However, in 2018, Arnall told The Independent newspaper that it was “never his intention to make the day sound negative”, but rather “to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions”. Well, this year may not feel like the time to be all that bold, but it can be an opportunity to make small and meaningful decisions that help you to proactively feel good. Here are a few spa inspired feel good ideas with little or no cost…
Colour can have a profound impact on our mood. Naturopath, Sue Davis, from Lifehouse Spa and Hotel takes the spa approach to energising a situation, using colours and aromatherapy to boost the way you feel. Colour therapy, using chakra coloured bottles, works by choosing a colour to indicate what your mind and body need. It’s very similar to aromatherapy that way, choosing an essential oil to boost your mind and body. For example, red shows a need for security and grounding, while purple is more spiritual and governs our clairvoyant insight and gut instinct. “All colours have different meanings,” says Sue, so “if you want more energy you might wear red for the day, or green if you want to feel relaxed.”
We’re not ones for being prescriptive when it comes to diet, and we’re big fans of everything in moderation. Ultimately, do what makes you feel good. However, in terms of health, we all know something fresh and fruity (or veggie) is better for you than something processed.
Instagram vegan influencer, Andrea Hannemann (aka @earthyandy) has recently launched her first cookbook, and with it has a 30 day vegan challenge which she began with an eminently doable suggestion. She said:
“Every single time you want to eat, to grab something plant first. If you want the processed after, up to you! But I promise you this action will tame your hungry belly, and roaring cravings and if you keep trying to fill up on the plants your cravings will subside and you may find yourself to wanting to continue to enjoy the plant option!This is the rule I made for myself when I was desperate for change & to heal. Telling myself I could still have processed if I wanted just have to eat something plant first was the perfect compromise. And to my surprise changed my life!”
Vegan or not, this seems like a great way to try to bring a little more feel good factor into your daily life.
Aromatherapy can have a strong impact on the way you feel. In Japanese factories they have been known to spray citrus scents into the room because lemon is very stimulating and increases productivity. Whether you use oils or perhaps you have herbs from the garden that you can put to use, scent can be a great way of bringing feel good factor into the everyday – on Blue Monday and beyond. Rosemary is good for the memory and peppermint is good for brainstorming (perhaps pop them into an electric diffuser while trying to focus on work at home!) Or maybe add a few drops of rose into the water when you’re ironing to perfume linens and add a sense of restoration and serenity during those everyday tasks.
With all the things going on in the world, and all the time we’re spending in the confines of our own homes, it’s easy for our minds to get caught up in the internal monologue. Or, as Tibetan Buddhist Master Mingyur Rinpoche aptly puts it, ‘monkey mind’. Meditation is a rewarding and simple way of seeking to quiet those thoughts so that you can enjoy the moment and maybe even think a little clearer. Why not start on Blue Monday?
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