Blue Monday – ways to keep positive on the most depressing day of the year

Blue MondayBlue Monday is the name given to the day that many accept as the most depressing day of the year.

With Christmas behind us, pay day still a few weeks away and short cold, dark, wet days, it’s clear to see why today has been given the name Blue Monday.

But, there are also many reasons to remain cheerful and not let Blue Monday drag you down.

This time of the year can affect people in different ways. So we’ve reached out to members within the profession to find out how they keep positive, even on Blue Monday.

Dentistry’s top stories

Stevie Potter – exercise your emotions

Don’t force it. Weirdly, one of my top tips is to spend time ‘exercising’ your emotions. You shouldn’t feel like you cannot feel down. But recognise it is all temporary, it will pass and it’s up to you to make that happen. So allow yourself to feel it, but make sure you’re ready to be pro-active, ASAP.

Stay focused on your goals. Once you’ve had your time feeling your emotion, get back to those goals you set yourself for success this year. Remind yourself that wallowing in self pity won’t get you there! Pro-activity and commitment will!

Get outdoors. It doesn’t need to be a sweat fest, just get outside and move. It could be a walk around the block. Get some sunlight, wake yourself up, enjoy the benefits of all those happy hormones!

Steer clear of junk food. A comforting hot chocolate or a bit of a crisp feast once in a blue moon when you need to feed your soul and nothing else is okay. But don’t let it become a habit. Try not to overindulge; the guilt associated with binge-eating will only make you feel worse. Add to that the blood sugar rollercoaster, the lethargy and the mood swings and you’re guaranteed to carry on on the helter-skelter Blue Monday spiral.

Lauren Long – take the chance to reset

It is difficult to remain positive and optimistic all the time in dentistry. The work day is often challenging. Even if you start the day feeling great, often something can happen that causes stress and negativity to flood in.

One thing that helps me remain positive throughout the work day is to ‘reset’ at lunch time.

If it has been a difficult morning and something has caused a bit of stress, I try to get outside for a walk, grab a coffee and maybe a chat with another member of the team.

A change of scene for an hour can make all the difference to your mindset for the rest of the day. It can leave you energised and refreshed for your remaining patients.

Victoria Sampson – remember what you do have

Go for a run! Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy. It also helps me concentrate on whatever is bringing me down and most of the time I finish my run realising that the problem is small/shouldn’t bring me down.

I will sometimes treat myself to a really good coffee and my favourite cake from my favourite coffee shop!

Play some great uplifting music.

We always aim to have a perfect work life, love life, friends, health and family. Most of the time this isn’t possible. And when one takes up more attention, it jeopardises another.

When, for example, you’re stressed at work and it’s going really badly, you might not see your partner as much or become snappy with them.

It’s always good to stand back and remember what you do have. You might not be happy at work, but at least you are healthy/have a good partner/good friends/family etc.

For those who are struggling this Blue Monday, you can reach out to Confidental, which promises emotional first aid for dentists in distress on 0333 987 5158.

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