Experts reveal the unexpected ways to beat Blue Monday

There’s no such thing as Blue Monday! Experts reveal the unexpected ways to stop feeling low at the start of the week – from sorting out your pension to buying a plant for your desk

  • Susan Hepburn, psychotherapist to A-list stars such as Adele, reveals her tips
  • She believes that no one is born pre-destined to have a depressive mood
  • Says that making future plans and exercise can help banish Monday slump
  • Professor Paul Dolan adds that sorting pension can boost current mood  

Today is apparently Blue Monday, when people supposedly feel the strain of post-Christmas debt, bad weather and dieting most keenly. 

But according to Susan Hepburn, Harley Street hypnotherapist and psychotherapist to A-list stars such as Adele, there’s no such thing as the most depressing day of the year. 

Indeed, the concept was originally dreamed up by Professor Cliff Arnall as part of a marketing stunt for a travel company to encourage more bookings. 

But Susan takes things one step further, saying that there’s no need to feel blue on any Monday of the year, as nobody is pre-destined to have a depressive mood, and negative feelings are therefore learned behaviour

Here, both Susan and Professor Paul Dolan, whose new book is Happy Ever After: Escaping The Myth of The Perfect Life, reveal how steps such as setting long term goals and keeping a diary can fend off the Monday blues for good. 

Are you feeling the effects of Blue Monday? A therapist believes that Monday Monday doesn’t actually exist.

Susan Hepburn, Harley Street hypnotherapist and psychotherapist to A-list stars such as Adele says that no one is born pre-destined to have a depressive mood, so it has clearly become learned behaviour that can be tackled

Think long-term

‘Irrespective of the weather or date, it’s important to take back control over your body and mind,’ explained Susan. ‘January is a fantastic time to make those big decisions for the year ahead, whether that be meeting new friends, booking a new adventure or embarking on a new career. 

‘By changing your outlook and considering your long-term priorities, you can trigger positive and lasting change.’

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And Paul agrees, writing in his book that a task that seems like a headache such as sorting out your pension can add to your sense of wellbeing. 

‘Think about how your long-term goals benefit you now,’ he said. ‘The benefits of saving for your retirement come not only from being secure in your old age, but from feeling secure about your old age in the years that approach it.’ 

Professor Paul Dolan’s tips new book Happy Ever After: Escaping The Myth of The Perfect Life tells us how to make changes your lifestyle to boost your mood

Keep a diary

‘One useful technique is to keep a food and emotions diary detailing what you eat and drink and more importantly how this makes you feel,’ Susan revealed. ‘This forces you to confront what you are eating, and in turn encourages nourishment to fend off a lethargic mood.’

Exercise daily 

Susan says that exercise is great for the mind, thanks to stilmulating the release of ‘endorphins, which act as mood enhancers and give your body a natural high’. 

Why you should evaluate your relationships 

‘Evaluate the health and viability of relationships by their consequences for pleasure and purpose over time, not by the narratives surrounding them,’ Paul explained. 

‘If spending time with a long-term friend – or even a partner – only ever makes you feel miserable, then you should think about whether that’s a relationship worth hanging on to.

‘You will enjoy your leisure time and socialising much more when you are fully engaged. Put your phone away and make it clear that you are not contactable in the evenings. Your attention to your family will pay dividends in happiness. ‘

She added: ‘This becomes all the more important when we are lacking the vitamins we need from daylight so don’t pack in your exercise routine just because it’s a rainy Monday.’

Pauls adds that getting outside every work day can be a great mood enhancer: 

‘Prisoners whose cells have a view make fewer visits to their prison’s healthcare facilities than those who don’t have a view; hospital patients who have a view recover quicker than those who don’t,’ he said. 

‘Get out of the office if you can, if not, bring in a plant or a fish tank.’ 

Factor in laughter 

‘Laughter has been proven again and again to reduce stress, loneliness and pain, and to promote relaxation and physical recovery,’ Paul said. 

‘Stock up on your favourite comedies and watch them before difficult events such as job interviews – and afterwards if the interview goes badly…’ 

Make Monday the new Friday

‘Rather than feeling down in the dumps at the prospect of an entire working week, try to make exciting and motivational plans – whether that be meeting friends after work or going to the cinema,’ Susan said. 

‘Wearing your favourite outfit and creating a new Monday music playlist are also great ways to lift your mood. 

Happy Ever After: Escaping The Myth of The Perfect Life by Professor Dolan, is now available from Amazon.   

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