Have you got the January blues and can't figure out why? You are not alone. Many people suffer with seasonal depression at this time of the year – it's cold outside, the hype of Christmas and New Year is over and many of us are feeling the pinch after the festive period.
Seasonal depression can become overwhelming and many experience symptoms of anxiety and stress such as irritability and problems sleeping, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and feelings of panic. To help raise awareness, Nottinghamshire Healthcare is once again supporting a charity campaign on Monday 19 January called ‘Blooming Monday' led by Mental Health Research UK.
The third Monday of each January is known as ‘Blue Monday' and said to be the most depressing day of the year. The Trust is asking staff to wear their brightest clothes in order to turn ‘Blue Monday' into ‘Blooming Monday'.
If staff want to join the campaign, they can choose to make a small donation to Mental Health Research UK. The charity funds research into the causes of mental illness in order to develop much more effective treatments.
Ruth Hawkins, Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire Healthcare said: “One in four people will experience some form of mental illness in their lives, and difficulties may become heightened over this period. It is really important to take time to look after yourself at this busy time of year. We are supporting the ‘Blooming Monday' campaign in order to help to break down the stigma attached to mental illness, as well as encouraging our staff to inject some unexpected colour and joy into the day for colleagues, service users, patients and carers – hopefully raising a few smiles!”
If you know of someone who may be suffering, take the time to drop in on them or give them a call to talk or just listen. The support of friends is really helpful for people experiencing mental illness, so please make the effort to stay in touch.”
Here are a few tips if you or a friend or family member is struggling:
- Eat regularly and healthily - Everyone deserves a treat but remember to include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet so you feel better, are healthier and have more energy.
- See your friends and family - Talk about your anxieties with someone else, a friend, relative or a group such as the Samaritans. Talking about the things that are worrying you can make a big difference.
- Avoid alcohol - Do not use alcohol as a way to relax or ‘numb the pain'. Drinking excessively is detrimental to your body, but it can disturb sleeping patterns leading to irritability and fatigue. Be aware that alcohol will affect any medication that you are taking.
- Be active - Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on mental and physical health. A small amount of activity is better than none. You do not need to go to the gym, a simple walk or exercising to a DVD will make you feel more energised and boost your mood.
- Relax - Take some time to yourself. Some simple breathing exercises can help or just 10-15 minutes away from everything reading a book, going for a walk or having a bath.
If you find yourself unwell or are worried about someone else please see your GP, contact 111 who will be able to refer you to local services or contact The Samaritans on 08457 909090.