Blue Monday – or how to cope with the feeling of sadness

How do we deal with sadness? First, let's allow it to exist. Emotions are bodily reactions to external or internal stimuli. We cannot control them. What we do control are their manifestation and our behavior. We manage them. Hence, instead…

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Today is Blue Monday, considered the most depressing day of the year. It usually falls on the third Monday of January, when the holidays are over, and people return to reality, and the winter routine, where the sky is mostly dark and the weather is cold.

The belief is that it is very common for people to be caught by the so-called post-holiday depression.

I’m also struggling with that feeling these days because I’ve been sick for two months, got corona, then influenza, and after my third viral infection, the situation has become so complicated that I had to take antibiotics. I feel tired, and not physically active, so it all drives me crazy.

However, for many people, this is maybe a very happy day. Many babies are born, many people fall in love, and many are happy for some success.

The point is that we rarely share on social media when we are feeling down. We want to show the beautiful side of things. But today is an excellent occasion to talk about authentic emotions, negative in this case.

There is hardly a person who has not felt sadness sometimes. There are periods in life when that feeling dominates. Even during the day, a person can be happy about something or sad about something else that happened to him.


How do we cope with the feeling of sadness?

First, let’s allow it to exist.

Emotions are bodily reactions to external or internal stimuli. We cannot control them. What we do control are their manifestation and our behavior. We manage them. Hence, instead of hiding or denying them, it is good to recognize them. We wouldn’t know what night is if we don’t know there is a day, so to be able to make the difference between sadness and happiness, we have to experience both.

Admitting that we are sad, is the starting point to recognizing our need behind that emotion.

Behind every negative emotion is an unsatisfied need. Maybe safety needs, or for love, respect, confirmation, self-realization. Validating how we feel and recognizing the needs behind those emotions is the starting point to change the situation to the one we desire.

If we are sad, we need to realize the reason and how to change the situation to the one we want.

Two powers can help us with this—the power of self-care and the power of positive relationships.


The power of positive relationships

We all have our social circle. These are people with whom we communicate on various grounds, cooperate, or are in conflict with, and people we like, love, or dislike.

It is important to know who makes us feel good. Who supports our growth and well-being. Those are people who, on an emotional level, we feel are good for us and make us feel loved, understood, safe, and confirmed. It could be a friend, partner, family member, or colleague. Those relationships are worth nurturing because they are great support during hardships. When we are frustrated that we don’t have something in our lives, they are what we actually have, and are essential resources for our well-being.

The importance of self-care

Self-care is one of the conditions for good physical and mental health. It means making time for activities that promote your psychological, emotional, and physical well-being.

 Self-care needs establishing a close and caring relationship with ourselves. To be self-aware of our feelings and our needs.

 Quality sleep, exercise, good nutrition, relationships with the people that support our growth, stress management, and enjoyment could be among the activities that promote our health.

But self-care requires awareness that we are in charge of creating our life and it mostly depends on us how we will design it. Everyone sometimes faces unfavorable situations that cause negative feelings. The difference is whether we will sink into the feeling of frustration, sadness, or anger, and feel like a victim of the circumstances, or we will position ourselves towards that situation, looking for our inner resources, alternatives, and solutions.

The close and nurturing relationship with ourselves will make us comfortable with self-explorations of our emotions and needs, focusing on finding alternatives to fulfill them. Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, what we can’t do, or the problem, we could focus on what we have, what we can, and the possible solutions.

Today is a good day to talk about sadness. To allow sadness to come out, not to suppress her.

Speaking for myself, I have already changed my ambitious plans for the year, prioritizing self-care.