IF today feels as though a dull torpor has descended and when you raise your head, dark clouds meet you, you are not alone - it is "Blue Monday".
But in one Scottish Borders town, a new initiative is afoot to help local residents and visitors alike feel their very best and it rather aptly launches today.
For the historic market town of Kelso is unveiling this very day a new campaign abiding by and inspired by the six recognised tenets of wellbeing - fresh air, exercise, water, rest, diet, and sunshine.
From today, Kelso, lying peacefully where the rivers Tweed and Teviot have their confluence, is striving to be known as Scotland’s "Wellbeing Capital", inspiring its inhabitants and visitors to take a bit of time out of their busy day to slow down, stop, take a breath and take care of themselves, with local businesses and organisations implementing small steps in support of the groundbreaking effort.
The idea behind the "six natural doctors" plan is to show people how easily small steps can be implemented every day to look after your physical and mental wellbeing.
Whether it is staying hydrated while cycling on some of the local routes, drinking a calming herbal tea at a local cafe after nipping out to take a short break from work, or doing a short breathing exercise to ground yourself and practice mindfulness, Kelso’s "Wellbeing Warriors" are dedicating themselves to ensuring everyone in their town is taken care of.
Lesley Rosher, owner of The Crafty Creative in Kelso, said she been seeing the benefits of activities such as crafting for years.
She said: "People don’t always initially think of crafts when thinking about wellbeing but having the ability to give your mind a break from screens, busy schedules, and stresses, is so important.
"Taking a bit of time out of our days to make sure we focus on us is hugely beneficial, and crafting is the perfect activity for this.
"Your brain can shut off while you have some important me-time."
The campaign launches on Blue Monday, the name given to a day in January said by a UK travel company, Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year.
The concept was first put forward in a 2005 press release from the company, which claimed to have calculated the date using an "equation", and it has become an annual day of note ever since, falling on the third Monday in January in honour of a cocktail of dreadful weather, post-Christmas blues, tight finances and wavering new year's resolutions and the resulting emotions this mixed bag encourages.
Plenty of other local Wellbeing Warriors are also promoting easy ways in which their people can add self-care into their routines, altogether offering a rich collection of inspiration for anyone who wants to take care of their mental and physical wellbeing.
At Beirhope Alpacas, for example, a "unique alpaca experience in the heart of the Cheviot Hills", visitors can expect a hot chocolate to enjoy in the fresh air while visiting the farm, while Kelso Wholefoods will offer samples of their porridge oats and "inspire visitors with healthy recipe cards". Eden Holiday Hideaways, meanwhile, say they are "committed to guests receiving fresh flowers and massages" while staying with them and Laura Louvain's Beauty Salon is offering a selection of green and herbal teas with their treatments.
Cakemuir Holiday Cottages are providing water bottles to guests to help keep them hydrated on their breaks and the Kelso Medical Practice is "continuing its weekly wellbeing social media posts" to provide the community with "a wealth of helpful tips to keep healthy".
Tina Newton, a Visit Kelso volunteer, said:"Wellbeing is at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now; we felt it was important to come together as a town to show both locals and visitors that there are quick and easy ways to take better care of yourself."
A list of participating businesses and organisations, and their small steps catered to their particular talents, can be found on the Visit Kelso website at www.visitkelso.com/wellbeing-warriors