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Blue Monday was not so blue for Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust staff

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 21, 2014

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Staff at Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cheltenham wear bright colours as part of ' Blooming Monday '

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BLUE Monday was yesterday. It was supposed to be grey outside, but actually, it was.. blue.

Monday, January 20 is thought to be one of the most depressing because of the typical bad weather, money running out after Christmas and we may have over indulged in unhealthy food and drink during the festive season.

But workers were actually treated to some sunny spells and blues skies, casting aside any of the grey stuff.

Employees were challenged to defy the blues and dress in bright shades to help combat what many believe to be the most miserable day of the year.

Staff at the Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Cheltenham wore bright colours for Blooming Monday.

Kate Jeal, communications officer for the Foundation Trust, said: “We all found bright clothes to wear for the day. It was nice for people not to be in black and grey for once. The challenge is to see whether people feel brighter as a result of wearing bright clothes.”

The third Monday of January is said to be the most depressing day of the year.

The charity Mental Health Research UK called upon on members of the public to wear colourful clothes as part of its Blooming Monday campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of depression and seasonal affective disorder, which particularly prevalent in the winter months because it is caused by a lack of sunlight.

A spokesman for the charity said: “The concept of the campaign is simple; we ask everyone to wear their brightest clothes that day.

“We hope to make a big visual impact on Blue Monday each year by injecting some unexpected colour and joy.”

The charity said they wanted to rebrand the day from Blue Monday to Blooming Monday.

It comes as a poll found that most people are still content with their lot.

A YouGov survey for the Church of England has found nine out of 10 people count their blessings and are not so ‘blue’ after all.

Out of 2,084 adults, more than half said being thankful for family and partners was their top blessing, followed by health.

In a video released by the Church of England today, Christian writer and broadcaster Brian Draper talks about the ‘low ebb’ of Blue Monday, asking how people can make the most of this time of year.

He suggests giving a hug or helping hand, or performing a random act of kindness to a stranger, like paying for coffee, or smiling as you pass someone, adding: “It's amazing how much joy is to be found within self-giving acts of love.”

The research also shows that the proportion counting their blessings every day increases with age, with one third of those aged 55 and over counting their blessings every day, compared to one in six of those aged 18-24.

Women tend to feel more tired, depressed and overweight than men in January, but on the other hand women are far more likely than men to count their blessings once a week or more often, the survey found.

TOP TIPS TO BEATING THE WINTER BLUES

1. Keep active

Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk, in the middle of the day, is beneficial.

2. Get outdoors

Go outdoors in natural daylight, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.

3. Keep warm

Being cold makes you more depressed.

4. Eat healthily

A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight.

5. Take up a hobby

Keep your mind active with a new interest.

6. See your friends

It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health.

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