Everyone has heard of the January blues, and this week will kick off with one of the most depressing days of the year.

The dark weather, financial hardships and end to festive celebrations can make this month a tough one to bear, and January 15 has been named Blue Monday as the gloomiest day of the year.

But clinical psychologist with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, Dr Nicole Main, has given her advice to help people tackle Blue Monday.

Her advice is to do things you enjoy to beat the blues, whether that's talking to family and friends or focusing on the future.

She said: "You can beat the January blues by taking time out to do the things that you enjoy. If you like reading, baking or painting, then try to set aside the time for these activities, because if we don't spend time doing things we enjoy, we can become irritable and unhappy.

"Also spend more time with those close to you, and talk to them about how you are feeling. Talking can be helpful and a good way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while.

"And if you can open up, you might also encourage someone else to do the same."

However, for those who feel they need more support, Dr Main said IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services at the BEHMT can be provided to help with a range of common mental health problems, including low mood and anxiety.

She added: "Instead of being depressed on Blue Monday use this day as a springboard for change and focus on your future.

"Set yourself some goals whether it is to lose weight, stop smoking or change job. Make the most of your life and live it to the fullest."

If you would like to access the Barnet or Enfield IAPT service you can refer yourself directly by visiting www.lets-talk-iapt.nhs.uk