Blue Monday, which made its debut in 2005, was originally identified by Dr. Cliff Arnal, a former researcher from Cardiff University, as part of a PR campaign. The initial intent was to encourage people to look ahead to positive changes that they could make in the New Year but it didn’t really pan out that way. Instead, the date has been marked by great negativity, brought about largely by bad weather, holiday debt, failed resolutions and a general low feeling following the high of the holidays.
But Blue Monday needn’t be so miserable. Stave off the blues by amping up the happy factor in your home. Here are six ways to do so.
Feng shui is the art of placement and according to this Chinese philosophy, where you position the things in your home can have a positive effect not just on your home’s aesthetics but on your whole life as well. Whether you’re clearing out clutter, repositioning furniture or adding healthy plants to your home, Feng Shui can help you create an uplifting space that makes you feel happy to spend time in.
2. Create a spa-like bathroom
Who doesn’t love a visit to the spa? (We’re all raising our hands over here.) But let’s face it: Regular trips to the spa can be prohibitively expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of those same spa benefits right in the comfort of your own home. Treat your bathroom like your very own sanctuary. Maybe it’s time to change the paint colour to something soft and soothing and if you’ve been thinking of renovating, consider adding a deep-soaking tub or heated floors. Looking for less expensive ideas? Indulge in fancy fragrant soaps and h towels and take a bath by candlelight to feel happy and relaxed at home.
3. Bring in the houseplants
Houseplants serve a number of benefits, from looking beautiful and adding a touch of the outdoors to a home’s interior to clearing the air of pollutants and increasing your ability to concentrate. Since many houseplants, like spider plants, philodendron, English ivy and peace lilies, act as nature’s own air purifier and improving overall air quality, it’s not a bad idea to add a little greenery to your bedroom and get a better night’s sleep at the same time.
A cluttered space can lead to a cluttered mind, which can make it difficult to feel at peace. Take a page out of Marie Kondo’s bestseller In her book, she offers this nugget of wisdom in regards to decluttering your home: “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.” By conquering clutter once and for all, you’ll create a space that allows you to breathe, be more creative and be better to yourself. Need help climbing out from under all the stuff? Start by identifying problem areas in your home and tackle them one by one. Decide what to keep, what to donate and what to toss. And try going paperless when it comes to bills, invoices and statements, to help minimize the amount of paper you’re managing. Invest in storage solutions (bins, containers, cabinets) that will help you keep everything where it belongs.
5. Examine the contents of your fridge
Food plays an important role in how we feel and if we don’t put the right fuel into our bodies, we don’t operate at our optimal levels. So if Blue Monday’s got you feeling blue, look to your fridge for some help. Stock your fridge with mood-boosting, feel-good foods like turkey, berries and oily fish, all of which are good for the brain.
6. Decorate with meaningful items
Create a happy home environment by surrounding yourself with things that elicit positive memories. Instead of leaving treasured family photographs stuck in their digital prison on your phone or tucked away at the back of a closet in a photo album, print, frame and hang them around your home. Those photos, with memories of happy occasions, will make you smile each time you walk by them. If you were given special gifts for a wedding or birthday, put them on display to remind you of the celebration.