London, 18th January 2016: A survey to celebrate the Digital HD release of The Martian, out on 25th January, reveals that ‘listening to music’ is the number one way the nation remains positive during darker months. Like Matt Damon’s character Mark Watney, who is marooned on Mars but mentally perseveres using simple techniques, it’s the little things that keep Brits happy.
‘A hug’ came in second place, followed closely behind by ‘sunshine’, ‘watching a film on DVD’ and ‘booking a holiday’. The survey also reveals the top 5 reasons that cause the January blues, with ‘bad weather’, ‘colder temperatures’, having ‘less of a disposable income’ and ‘weight gain’ all being blamed. ‘Darker mornings’ came fifth, but was the number one reason to affect the moods of those aged over 55.
Celebrity Psychologist, Jo Hemmings, comments on ways that Brits can keep their spirits high during January: “Indulge yourself, whether that means enjoying your favourite songs like Mark Watney who listened to disco music, or just taking one day at a time. Mark wrote down and crossed through all his ‘sols’ and this helped him focus on seeing light at the end of the tunnel.” She continues: “Think about what you’re going to do when January is over – book that holiday, get out more to see friends and family, plan a weekend away. Anticipation helps us feel better.”
Jo Hemmings’ recommendations to keep happy throughout January:
· Recognise and embrace the signs of positive change – each day is getting slightly longer and lighter. Mark Watney watching his potato shoots begin to flourish gave him hope for the future. Keep a lookout for the first leaves or bulbs, like snowdrops crocuses and daffodils pushing their way through the hard winter soil, meaning Spring isn’t far off.
· Exercise, meditation and deep breathing help raise feel-good endorphins – as does humour, something which Mark Watney managed to use to good effect in his messages to Earth.
· Indulge yourself, whether that means listening to the music that you love e.g. Mark Watney comforted himself by listening to disco music, or watching a whole Sunday’s worth of box sets and lingering in a long, scented bubble bath. These simple pleasures will help the month move along that much faster.
· Taking one day at a time, staying determined and positive and recognising that one bad day doesn’t make a bad month.
· Perseverance – however miserable January makes you, there is an end in sight and each day brings you nearer there.
· Mark Watney’s food supply contained a lot of mood improving fruits – use blueberries, cherries and pomegranates to supply Vitamin C and have anti-oxidants which make us feel happier
· Comforting winter foods don’t need to be too fattening – this is the perfect month to enjoy homemade soups and low-fat warming curries and casseroles.