It’s that time of year when everyone will be talking about what is known as ‘Blue Monday’ – said to be the most depressing day of the year. If, each year, you just want to stay under the duvet watching DVDs or run away to a sunny beach somewhere, never to return, you’re not alone.
Whether or not there is really mass case of the blues on this one specific day can be debated. But there’s no doubting that, once the bustle of Christmas and New Year is over, and the humdrum reality of winter sets in, we can all feel a bit sluggish, uninspired, or down for no good reason.
That’s why we wanted to share with you some ideas for fun things you can do as a family to beat the Blue Monday feeling, whenever it may strike.
- Keep active Did you know our bodies produce their own “feel good” chemicals? They’re called endorphins, and they’re released by exercise. Go to the playground, take a walk in the park, kick the football around, or have a dance party with the kids. Whatever activity we choose to do, our endorphins will kick in and make us feel more energised and upbeat. Plus, when we’re out of doors, the fresh air and sights of nature can really boost our moods too.
- Get cooking This is a great activity to share as a family, especially when it’s something fun like decorating fairy cakes, baking cookies, or choosing the toppings to create your own customised pizza. Looking for a healthier option? Have the kids invent their own layered puddings or signature smoothies, using different fruits and flavoured yogurts. Bananas are a particularly great choice as they’re easy for kids to work with, and they’re chock full of the nutrients that give us increased energy.
- Tap into creativity Flexing our artistic muscles is a really effective way to have fun, inspire our minds, and find a sense of accomplishment. Paint, draw, write songs, string beads, solve puzzles, invent new games, or make a scrapbook of family memories using the photos and mementos you can find around the house. All of these creative activities make the mind more alert and provide more of the priceless ‘togetherness’ time that can help chase the winter blues away.
- Keep laughing It’s hard to feel down when you’re laughing, isn’t it? We have our endorphins to thank for that too – laughter is known to boost the chemicals in our brains that make us feel good. What’s more, people feel closer to each other when they laugh together. Plus, it’s just plain fun! Even a little silliness can go a long way in the cold winter months. Play some silly games together, have dinner in costumes from the dressing-up box, or cosy up on the sofa with a family-friendly comedy film or TV series on DVD
And finally, no matter what you choose to do, remember that what’s really important is the time you spend together and the memories you create!