With Christmas and New Year celebrations little more than a distant memory and summer seeming a lifetime away, it’s not surprising that some of us struggle with the blues in January.

The most miserable day of the year is said to be Blue Monday, which this year falls on 15 January. Derived in 2005 using a calculation involving factors such as poor weather, debt problems, low motivation and abandoned new year’s resolutions, Blue Monday is the day people are most likely to feel low.

If you feel the blues creeping up on you, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust has a wealth of information about mental wellbeing on its website, including simple tips that everyone can practice, helping them boost their mood.  Advice includes having enough sleep; cutting out caffeine; getting active; helping someone else; eating well; spending time in sunlight; staying social; managing stress and having fun.

For anyone who might need a bit more support, Bradford District and Craven Talking Therapies offers a range of options, from signposting to social groups that help people to get out and about, to online courses which can support people from the comfort of their own home, to group courses and guided self-help on a range of topics including managing low mood, sleep problems and managing different types of anxiety.

Naomi Holdsworth, Operations Service Manager at Bradford District and Craven Talking Therapies said: “We want to support people who are feeling blue. We’ve put together some tips to help boost mood on Blue Monday.”

The team’s top tips for making sure you stay mentally well are:

  • Taking the opportunity to get active or exercise from home, the new year is a great opportunity to start new healthier habits.
  • Having a healthy diet; introduce healthy stews and soups to your diet – they are rich in vitamins and nutrients that will help your brain to function well and protect your ability to cope with daily life.
  • Getting out in the fresh air and having a walk; fresh air, albeit crispier and colder at this time of year, is still great for clearing the mind and getting oxygen into the lungs and brain.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Practicing mindfulness, which means simply being in the here and now. Taking just a few minutes each day to do something like listening to the sound of nature. This will help you keep focused in the present.

For more wellbeing tips, view the team’s video at  Bradford and Craven Talking Therapies or visit the knowledge bank section of the website for lots of free tips and links.

The service is open to anyone over the age of 16 who is registered with a GP in Bradford, Wharfedale, Airedale or Craven. People don’t have to go through their GP to access support. People accessing support can register online at: www.bdctalkingtherapies.nhs.uk 

For information on all mental health and wellbeing support services in Bradford and Craven and self-help resources and apps, visit www.healthyminds.services.