Canadians are still reeling from record-shattering -40 degree Celsius temperatures, but the nation is gearing up in preparation for the most depressing day of the year — Blue Monday. On Jan. 15, incoming credit card bills, a lack of sunshine and vitamin D, failed New Year's resolutions and continued frigid temperatures are expected to culminate into a barrage of negativity and feelings of utter failure.
While most of us will want to hide under a blanket to wait out the storm, embrace your winter "blues" and kick your sadness to the curb with these six tips for surviving Blue Monday.
#1: Drink up
Part of why Blue Monday is so depressing is the realization that you've made it through four per cent of the year and you're already a failure. New Year's resolutions such as refusing alcohol for a month are notoriously hard to stick with, but there's no need to fret. Now that you've failed your Dryuary resolutions, welcome Blue Monday with a fun royal blue martini or a tropical blue blended margarita that will whisk you far away from your woes — imagine yourself on the beach in Mexico or sunning in the south of France and sip back that delicious glass of failure.
#2: Express yourself
Art therapy has been used for years to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being, and painting has been an excellent means of expressing oneself since we were kids with fingers, paint, the walls of our parents' house and a wild imagination. Whether you recreate Picasso's Blue Period or simply draw the bright blue roofs of Santorini while at a paint night in your city, painting lets you tackle Blue Monday in a creative way.
#3: Work it out
In the words of Elle Woods: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." Fight back against the Blue Monday blahs with the ultimate mood booster: working out until you're blue in the face will help to clear your mind, leaving you happier about your physical and mental health.
#4: Make others less blue
When we partake in a charitable event or donate to a worthy cause, the midbrain region responsible for cravings and pleasure rewards lights up like a Canada Day firework show. Alleviate the winter blues for yourself and others by donating to a charity near you. Make a Wish Canada, Free the Children, WE Day, Canadian Cancer Society and SOS Children's Villages Canada are all excellent choices (with blue logos) that will give you the warmest, fuzziest feelings.
#5: Dive in
Escaping Blue Monday is easy when jumping head-first into the water during a holiday abroad. Whether your prefer diving into the clearest turquoise waves in the Maldives or warming up your cold heart in the striking, icy-blue waters of Iceland's Blue Lagoon, a change of scenery can help put problems into perspective while you create ever-lasting memories with family and friends.
#6: Embrace the world
If you can't sneak away for a casual day trip to Hawaii, there's joy to be had by simply watching the world from the comfort of your couch. Blue Planet II will not only show you the breathtaking wonders of our oceans — Sir David Attenborough's iconic voice and calming narration will certainly cheer you up as you watch sea life along the coast of Australia's Great Barrier Reef swim and frolic on your screen.