Monday, January 16th is officially “Blue Monday” the most depressing day of the year.
It’s the perfect storm. The day when everything lines up: the monotony of the return to work; low funds in the bank account; cold, grey weather and the short hours of daylight. It’s the low after the high of the holidays. It’s the struggle with the reality of resolutions made at New Year for the “new you”: dry January, veganuary, an overly optimistic diet or gym regime.
The realisation that actually nothing has changed….
The result can be depression and anxiety, low energy levels, feeling sleepy during the day yet unable to sleep at night, difficulty concentrating and a sense of meaninglessness and hopelessness.
What is CBD and how can it help?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in hemp and marijuana plants that interacts with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating many bodily functions such as mood, appetite, sleep and pain perception. When CBD is consumed, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout the body producing therapeutic effects. CBD has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic and analgesic properties. These are beneficial for treating a variety of medical conditions including pain, anxiety and inflammation.
How does CBD help improve mental health and reduce anxiety
CBD has been found to have calming effects on anxiety and depression because it increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which helps to regulate mood. Additionally, CBD is thought to reduce inflammation in the brain, making it easier for people to relax and focus. Studies have also suggested that CBD may help improve attention and reduce fatigue, two symptoms associated with both depression and anxiety.
By working alongside traditional treatments such as therapy, regular exercise, and healthy eating, incorporating CBD into your daily plan can be very beneficial in tackling depression and anxiety.
What are the best ways to take CBD for mood improvement?
There are several ways you can use CBD. Taking CBD orally in the form of capsules or drops is one of the most popular methods. This allows you to get an exact dose of CBD and can be taken conveniently throughout the day. You can also take CBD oil as a topical, which provides localised relief for specific areas. Lastly, vaping CBD e-liquids is another effective way to get instant relief from anxiety and stress. Whichever method you choose, purchasing high-quality products is key to experiencing all of the benefits that CBD has to offer.
Ways to improve mood without CBD oil
There are many ways to lift your spirits without using CBD oil. One of the simplest ways is to get more sleep and rest. Taking time for yourself to relax, read a book, or meditate can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Switching off your phone and staying away from screens can help. Exercise is another great way to boost endorphins and create a sense of wellbeing. Eating a balanced diet, spending time in nature, connecting with friends and family, or volunteering are all other options that can help you feel better naturally. Finding the right combination of activities that works best for you can be the key to improving your mental wellbeing
The side effects of using CBD oil
While CBD oil is generally considered safe and non-toxic, there are some potential side effects to be aware of when using it. These can include dry mouth, drowsiness, changes in appetite and weight, nausea, and fatigue. It is always advised to consult a health care professional before using CBD oil to ensure that it is the right choice for you. Additionally, always make sure to purchase high-quality products with third-party testing certifications to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
January can be a difficult month to manage and often requires more than just getting through the day. CBD is a promising compound with potential benefits for relieving anxiety, inflammation and pain which may help reduce symptoms associated with Blue Monday. While more research is needed to further understand the effects of CBD, it is definitely an option worth considering if you are struggling to manage your mood during this time of year.
Other common causes of wintertime depression include:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Seasonal depression typically occurs during the winter months. It’s believed to be caused by lack of sunshine, which can disrupt your body clock and trigger feelings of depression. Other symptoms can include low energy levels, feeling sleepy during the day, difficulty concentrating, and an increased appetite for carbohydrates. SAD can have a profound impact on people’s lives, so seeking professional help and support is important. People who are affected by SAD should seek medical advice from their GP or mental health professional in order to find the best treatment plan for them.
Social anxiety disorder
Social anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder characterised by intense feelings of fear, nervousness, and shyness in social situations. Those with social anxiety may feel they are being judged or scrutinised by others and become overwhelmed with negative thoughts. These are often accompanied by self-criticism and physical issues such as sweating or blushing.
General depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are two different mental health conditions that share overlapping symptoms. In depression this can mean feeling sad or hopeless, lack of energy or motivation, difficulty concentrating, changes in appetite, thoughts of suicide, and sleeping too much or too little. Indicators of anxiety may include feelings of fear or panic, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. These can be accompanied by racing thoughts, insomnia, and physical effects such as sweating or a racing heart. If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s important to see your doctor for advice about how best to manage them.