Blue Monday is the third Monday of January. While initially conceived by a British travel agency as a publicity stunt, researchers believe that there are reasons that people feel particularly sad on this day. Often, when credit card bills from Christmas arrive, there is limited daylight, and people realize that they have already broken their New Year’s resolutions. While the evidence is a bit shaky that one day is the saddest of the winter, if you find yourself feeling a little depressed, there are steps that you can take.
Attend a Special Event
One of the reasons that many people feel depressed on Blue Monday is that they do not have anything to look forward to, so fix that by inviting some friends to join you for a special event. Consider these low-cost suggestions:
• Go sledding – Many parks have a free area for sledding, including Aldo Leopold Park in Madison, Lockwood Park in Racine or Columbus Park in Milwaukee.
• Enjoy ice fishing – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hosting a free fishing weekend on January 21 and 22. There are more than 50 sites that will loan free equipment.
• Attend a winter festival – There are many winter festivals that you can attend, including Union Grove’s Winterfest, Burlington’s Aquaducks Ice Fishing Jamboree and Racine’s Burr Pub Crawl.
• Experience fat tire biking – Many trails that are groomed for snowmobiling allow fat tire biking. You may want to head to Peninsula State Park near Fish Creek or Newport State Park near Ellison Bay as both have special fat tire bike tracks.
The Science Behind Spending Time Outside in the Winter
Spending time outdoors in the winter is a great way to boost your mental health. Like putting an ice pack on a swollen area, it reduces inflammation. Exercise helps boost your self-esteem and reduces stress hormones. Exercising in the winter also boosts your nervous system, so you feel calmer.
Sometimes, spending a little time outdoors is all you need to enjoy excellent mental health, but sometimes that is not enough. In those cases, we would love to visit with you to develop a plan to boost your mental health. Contact our office today.