The third Monday in January marks Blue Monday, commonly known as the most depressing day of the year.
Following the highs of family, food and drinks over Christmas and New Year, January sees the UK crash back down to earth with the return to workplaces and a less busy social calendar, but what can be done to raise the mood on the darkest of winter days?
What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday was actually born from a PR campaign from holiday firm Sky Travel who, with the help of scientists, looked for a formula for the January blues.
The blues itself, formerly known as seasonal depression, is a real psychological condition seasonal affective disorder and it has been linked to reduced exposure to sunlight over the winter months according to the NHS.
It is important to remember that anyone struggling to cope regarding their mental health should reach out to a medical professional for support.
What can be done to beat the January blues?
The New Year may provide people with a fresh boost of energy, but the short days and long, dark nights can provide slow progress but there are things which can be done to help push against seasonal affective disorder.
The first recommendation on how to fight against these feelings is to increase exposure to sunlight throughout the day and Newcastle is blessed with a series of wide open spaces and parks across the city. From a relaxing walk along the Quayside on a lunch break to a run in Leazes Park or the Town Moor, there are plenty of opportunities to get out the house in short bursts.
In addition to support from friends and family, creating plans and looking forward to what is coming up has also been shown to raise someone’s frame of mind. This could include meeting at bars, pubs and restaurants across the city or taking advantage of the Newcastle’s constantly improving cultural scene, including live music and theatre.