Nick Davies gives his tips on how to get through 'Blue Monday'
Why is “Blue Monday” labelled as the Most Depressing by Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist Nick Davies (www.ndhypnotherapy.com)
There are different claims for who actually created the term “Blue Monday” with mostly holiday companies taking credit, however I have my own 3 point theory behind the psychology of why peoples moods are so much lower than normal.
1) Firstly we’re forced to feel happy over the Christmas period by being bombarded with lots of adverts showing happy, blissful families over the festive season, so we with any forced emotion this creates a reactionary response after about a month (this is why the majority of people only stick to diets and gym plans for 3-4 weeks, I’ll go into more detail in point 3).
2) Monday is the most depressing day of the week, a survey by the Office for National Statistics found 16% of male suicides and 17% of female suicides occurred on Mondays, compared to 13% on the weekend days.
3) Your brain has a built in mechanism not to take on new behaviours without rigorous testing, otherwise we’d be a population of random people, changing our minds everyday. So what happens is that when we decide to commit to a new behaviour i.e. dieting, exercising more, working towards new goals, we’re forcing our brain to lay down new patterns of behaviour. Science shows this happens roughly after a month of consistency, but in order to protect ourselves our minds make it harder in the period between week 3 and 4 almost as if to say “Do you really want this?” and if we move through this ‘hey presto’ we have a new habit! But most people quit as the pressure gets too much.
So if you combine these 3 factors, there you have it “Blue Monday”, and with a national lockdown this is likely to be the worst in our living history!
What Can You Do to Survive Blue Monday by Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist Nick Davies (www.ndhypnotherapy.com)
Here are some tips to fend of that low mood and feel happier and more content:
1) Lower your expectations of yourself and others, better relationships happen this way.
2) Learn to say “yes” when you want to, and “no” when you want to.
3) When someone is angry, upset or disappointed with you, then that’s more about their rigid rules and expectations, than what you’ve done or not done.
4) Take time out to do things for you; go for a walk in the park, listen to some uplifting music, have a 20 minute bath with lots of bubbles, spend time with positive people.
5) Don’t seek recognition or validation from others, only YOU needs to accept and validate YOU.
6) Recognise most of the happy, successful stuff you see on social media is an attempt to make money, or make you into believing they’re happier or more successful than they are.
7) If you’re really struggling reach out and talk to someone like the Samaritans, or if you can afford it find a therapist that you really gel with. Every good therapist will offer a free consultation to make sure you’re a good fit for each other.
Now here is a technique I created to help people who are feeling anxious, stressed or in low mood, read all of the steps before you start.
BLAST® “Tapping” - Self-Care Protocol:
1) Sit back in a comfortable chair with your arms and legs uncrossed, take a few moments to relax with the thoughts, feelings and/or emotions before you begin.
2) Firstly assess and write down your significant level of discomfort (SUD) from zero to ten (zero being no discomfort and ten being the worst you can imagine).
3) Tap on your forehead above each eyebrow alternately 10 times each counting out loud (optional)
4) Now tap on both cheekbones alternately 10 times each counting out loud (optional)
5) Then tap on the front of your chin either side 10 times each counting out loud (optional)
6) Now tap on your collar bones (opposite hand to collarbone side) alternately 10 times each counting out loud (optional)
7) Then keeping your head still look to your left, then right, 10 times each
8) Now take a nice diaphragmatic breath whilst saying in your mind to yourself, slowly, “I’m okay”.
9) Assess and write down your significant level of discomfort (SUD) between zero and ten.
10) Repeat process until you have the result you require.
NB: This is not the official BLAST Technique® but a technique that is used as a self-care protocol for clients who experience anxiety, low mood or stress between sessions it is not a substitute for proper treatment.
If you’d like to learn the BLAST Technique® and Advanced BLAST Technique® (which are different from this self-care protocol), go to the BLAST Technique® Association website www.blast-technique.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of future courses.
About Nick Davies
Nick is a well-respected psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, sports performance mind coach, trainer and speaker in the UK and Europe. Known as "The PTSD Whisperer" because of his specialism in treating trauma quickly and permanently. To see how Nick creates rapid positive change, visit www.ndhypnotherapy.com and www.ndsp.co.uk (sports performance)