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Five things you can do to beat Blue Monday

According to some, the combination of cold, dark days and post-Christmas blues makes the third Monday in January the most depressing day of the year. In a bid to combat those January blues, we've put together some ideas that might help you feel a little better:

Boost your mood with vitamin D

Feet up in front of the fire.

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin and it's one of the most important vitamins for good health. In the summer we can get all the vitamin D we need from being outdoors in the sunshine, but there are ways you can boost your vitamin D levels in winter. The easiest way is to take a vitamin supplement, but certain foods can also help to top up your levels. Half a fillet of salmon has more than the daily recommended allowance and eggs, mushrooms and tuna are also good to include in your diet. Some cereals are fortified with vitamin D, so remember to check the labels next time you're in the supermarket.

Try something new

The long winter nights are the perfect opportunity to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. If you've always wanted to become fluent in French or master the art of knitting, why not take up some lessons? Keeping your mind active with a new interest can help ward off symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Exercise is also a great way to boost your mood, whether it's just introducing a walk into your daily routine or taking up a new exercise or sport.

Pamper yourself

Why not treat yourself to something a little indulgent? Go out for a nice slap up meal or buy something you've been promising yourself all year. Or, if you're watching the pennies, you could start planning for a dream holiday later in the year. Looking forward to something new or different can be uplifting and refreshing.

See your friends or family

Socialising is a really good way to ward off those winter blues. Going out for coffee or chatting with a friend can really help to boost your mood. We all know that smiling makes you feel better. It's contagious too, so if you smile at others you'll help them feel better too!

Be prepared for the cold weather and keep your home warm

An NHS guide on beating SAD says staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half. Using thick curtains to cover windows and doors can prevent your house from losing heat, but make sure to let sunlight in during the day. Watch out for mini draughts too; letterboxes, keyholes and cat flaps can all create draughts that go right through the house.

Make sure to use your heating regularly to avoid the nightmare of pipes bursting. If freezing temperatures are forecast, it's best to keep your radiators on a constant, low temperature of 12C–15C.

Don't take risks with your home insurance either — make sure to check your policy is up to date and you are covered in case of an emergency. At Hastings Direct, we offer Defaqto 5 Star rated home insurance, which can be tailored to suit your needs. Get a quote today.