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Coping with Blue Monday without Alcohol and Drugs

Man hiking woods snowThis blog post was originally published in January, 2018. That year, January 15, 2018, the third Monday of the month, was known as Blue Monday.

Some people call the day Blue Monday because they consider it the most depressing day of the year. When you think about it, this designation makes sense.

After all, many winter holidays are over. By January 15th, New Year’s Day already occurred two weeks before. People might be coming down after the joy and busy times of the holidays and feel bored and well, blue.

Adding to this postholiday depression is the weather, which is cold, snowy, and dark in many parts of the world. People might be struggling with seasonal affective depression (SAD) and turning to alcohol and drugs to cope. Using alcohol and drugs, though, can make people even more depressed.

But people don’t have to stay depressed on Blue Monday or other times. Some things they can do to ease their blues include

  • Buying a “happy lamp.” There are lamps that provide light therapy in the form of extra light that can boost the spirits for people who feel depressed by low levels of light.
  • Exercising and staying physically active. Exercising raises feel-good chemicals in the brain. It can also improve self-esteem and help alleviate other health concerns, all of which can fight depression.
  • Visiting doctors and therapists. Seeing professionals can help people determine if their depressed mood is a long-term condition, temporary, reoccurring because of the season, or a symptom of another health issue. These professionals can assist people in fighting depression and other conditions.

Taking these steps and others might help people fight Blue Monday, seasonal affective disorder, and other forms of depression. They could help people cope in healthy ways without using alcohol and drugs or engaging in behaviors that could just make their depression worse.

Trying is important, because giving into or ignoring the blues just makes them worse. It can be a fight, but it’s a winnable fight.