Blue Monday…during the pandemic…again!

The GenWell Project has some tips on how to beat a ‘case of the blues’ this Blue Monday, or any day of the year.

This upcoming Monday is often referred to as ‘the most depressing day of the year’ and whether or not that’s true, Blue Monday does remind us once again that people can struggle at this time of the year. Regardless of where it ranks in terms of how depressing it is, it is a great catalyst to take action for our own social health and happiness, and the health and happiness of those around us. One of the best and easiest ways to create that happiness is through face-to-face social interaction and increased human connection, even if it is virtual for a little while longer.

The benefits of face-to-face social connections to your mental and physical health and well-being are numerous; it reduces anxiety and depression, it strengthens the immune system, increases empathy and compassion for others and increases your chances of living longer by 50%. Overall, it is one of the single largest indicators of happiness in your life and is the single largest preventative action that we can all take to avoid depression. Obviously getting together in-person has been challenging for much of the pandemic, but as we continue to face increased physical distancing measures, it is critical that we work to create, build or maintain our human connections with others, until we can get back to the new normal and create the habits and rituals that will improve our social health. 

One powerful aspect of getting connected, is that it is a win-win for you and the person you are reaching out to, as both of you get a boost of dopamine, the happiness hormone.

So here are some tips to beat the Mondays (and to increase human connection):

  • Schedule a Zoom Chat or Phone call with a friend or classmate – the pandemic has truly opened our eyes to the positive uses that technology brings to our lives.
  • Visit an elderly relative – physically distant or virtually, whichever is right for you and the person you are connecting with. 
  • Leave a note or card with your neighbour – let them know you are thinking of them. With the dark cold days of wintertime, a handwritten note can go a long way.  
  • Check in with someone who has been struggling through the pandemic – this might be with isolation and loneliness, or it might be challenges like divorce, job loss, illness, or struggles with home schooling. 
  • Take the pooch for a walk – pandemic puppies and all the puppies that came before have really stepped up for us during the pandemic. Let’s share the love and go for a walk with a neighbour, a friend, or family member.  

There are so many other ways to connect with others, the key is just taking that first step. For other tips, tools and ideas on how to get connected, check out The GenWell Project, the Global Human Connection Movement at The Canadian led NFP has been educating, empowering and catalyzing Canadians to proactively build healthier connection habits since 2016, for the health and wellness of all Canadians. 

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