How to beat Blue Monday


For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the third Monday in January has a reputation as the "most depressing" day of the year.

In 2023, Blue Monday falls on 16 January, with the date calculated using a formula that combines factors such as the weather, debt level/income and the amount of time since Christmas.

So, if you are feeling down in the dumps at the moment, you are not alone. To help overcome Blue Monday, author and mental toughness expert Penny Mallory has offered up some top tips.

Don't wallow

Resilience refers to an ability to adapt, recover quickly and bounce back when things don't go as we had planned or hoped.

"Resilient people don't wallow or dwell on failure; they acknowledge the situation, learn lessons from mistakes and move forward," she noted. "They are mentally tough and they are more likely to thrive."

Start to think of 'failure' as 'learning'

A lot of people get so caught up in their fear of failure that it prevents them from taking risks and learning.

"Instead of 'failure', change your perspective so that you see it as 'learning,'" suggested Penny. "No one ever started out being brilliant. Everyone learned their skills through exploration, deliberate practice, hard work, endeavor, and resilience. Your actions and behaviours come from what you think, and how you think. To behave differently you have to think differently."

It's not all about academic success

A lot of people get caught up in the fact that they didn't do as well at school, college, or university as they wanted to. Accordingly, it's important to remember that academic qualifications are not the biggest factor in success, in fact, far from it.

"Only 30 per cent of any achievement you make will be down to your skill, talent and intelligence, but 70 per cent of your achievement will be down to your mental toughness, focus, resilience, and determination are what creates success," explained Penny. "Think about anyone you admire in business, sport, politics, and media - they've all achieved their success because they remained determined, committed, and mentally tough. This is the game changer that will set you apart from the rest."

Be prepared to leave your comfort zone

Playing it safe and refusing to leave your comfort zone may be a recipe for failure, but risk is scary.

"Champions learn to open their minds to possibilities, managing risk and leveraging it to their advantage. By stepping outside your comfort zone there is no loss; you'll succeed or learn from it, and both are big wins," she added.