Self-care rituals for the saddest day of the year

Self-care rituals for the saddest day of the year

by Robyn Pullen
6 min

Nobody likes Mondays but if you’re feeling particularly down this Monday 15, just know it’s not you: it’s because today is Blue Monday. Blue Monday is the name that was given to the third Monday in January by a UK Travel company, because according to science it’s supposed to be the saddest day of the year.

Combining a number of factors including weather conditions, debt levels, time since Christmas, low motivation levels, and the likelihood that most of us have given up on our new year’s resolutions by just about now, statistically, you’re more likely to have a rough day today. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Whilst statistics might point towards you feeling a little more of the weight of the world today in particular, there are a number of things you can do to make sure the Blue Monday blues don’t get you down.

We know it might sound trivial, but self-care really is a huge part of not feeling down at this time of year. A lot of people tend to dismiss self-care rituals as surface level vanity projects, like nail painting and face masks designed to target your looks rather than your emotional state. But the reality is that self-care can have a huge impact on stress levels, energy levels, and your overall outlook on life. Even small acts of self-care on a daily basis can have a huge impact, lowering risk of illness and improving your overall wellness. Here’s some we’d recommend you take up, especially if you’re feeling a particular shade of blue on Monday 15.

Run yourself a bubble bath

According to Rituals, the luxury brand dedicated to The Art of Soulful Living, there is an ancient Indian medical system called Ayurveda which taps into a more “natural” and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Ayurveda experts claim that bathing heals you by relaxing the muscles, unclogging the pores, and restoring moisture to tissue.

With this in mind, practising a regular bathing ritual with Earl of East’s bathing edit essentials can help to cleanse and rejuvenate you from the inside out. From Earl of East’s Onsen Bath Salts, a blend of Himalayan and Epsom salt with mandarin, peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, to the Mezame Shower Spray, a therapeutic, hand-blended aromatherapy spray (for those without a bath), you can elevate your bathing time to be more than just functional, but an emotional respite too.

Touch some grass

Whilst the trend of telling people on the internet to “touch some grass” might seem sarcastic, it’s actually a really good way of grounding yourself and, if the sun’s out, even just getting some much needed Vitamin D. We all need to be reminded that there’s a life outside of social media sometimes, and planting your feet in nature is the best way to do it. In fact, research suggests that spending at least 120 minutes a week (less than 20 minutes a day) in green spaces can lead to a greater sense of wellbeing. Whether you take some time to step into nature, venture out on a winter hike, or even just do a lap around the block, making sure to breathe in fresh air and hug a tree can do more for your mental and physical health than we realise.

Take a deep breath

In the hectic modern world, it’s not often we get to stand still for a minute and just breathe. That’s why practising breathing rituals as a form of self-care is so effective. Breathwork and meditation involve focusing on slow, intentioned, mindful breathing to cleanse and relax your mind and body, and it can actually have immediate effects.

Because the second you start thinking about breathing it almost becomes an impossible task, apps like 1 Giant Mind have breathing exercises to follow along to which make breathwork feel more natural. Simply light some incense (like the Atlas Cedar Incense Cones), fill your surrounding space with a meditative scent, and breathe. 

Rub out the stress

Whilst we tend to treat massages like a rare treat, something to spoil ourselves with on occasion, they’re extremely beneficial as part of a regular self-care routine. The easiest places to perform a self-massage are the hands and feet, with a ton of tutorials online for how to properly do so, but many massage therapists also recommend lymphatic drainage massages as a great way to relax and destress, with added skincare benefits on top. Plus, massaging with aromatherapy oils or essential oils, like Colekt’s soothing and anti-inflammatory REBOOT Rosehip Seed body oil, with natural antioxidants and fatty acids, turns massages into a full-body cleanse.

Talk it out

One of the most obvious yet underrated ways to combat the effects of Blue Monday is by simply talking about it. The impact of social media giving us so much access to the entire world means that many of us feel extremely small and irrelevant when it comes to our problems. Sometimes standing in a crowded room feels lonelier than an empty one, and TikTok is the most over-crowded room we’ve ever been in. This is why taking the time to catch up with people you feel comfortable talking to, whether that’s family, friends, colleagues, or even an online forum, can feel like throwing off everything weighing down on you.

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