There are two ways of looking at January.
For the ‘glass half-full’ people out there, it’s a time of fresh resolve, embarking on new endeavours and optimistic re-evaluation.
For the rest of us, it’s just layer upon layer of misery.
Our bodies feel the strain of December’s booze and chocolate diet , tumbleweeds blow through our bank accounts and there’s ages ago till it’s light again in the mornings and our vitamin D levels can regenerate.
To add to these stale and disappointing layers is another – the most depressing day of the year.
When is Blue Monday?
The previous month may be home to the day you’re most likely to be dumped ( December 11 , in case you were wondering), but January contains the most depressing day of the year.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a Monday.
The official date for your diary is apparently Monday, January 15 this year (last year was January 16).
The formula is the third Monday in January, but it can fall on the second or fourth, or even the last week sometimes. The first was January 24, 2005.
If it’s not too late book it off work, grab your duvet and hunker down with uplifting Disney classics and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s.
So what is Blue Monday?
Admittedly there’s no strict science behind this discovery – although Blue Monday is acknowledged every year.
Instead, what we do have is the word of life coach and happiness consultant, Cliff Arnall.
Cliff has published a formula stating how factors such as the weather, debt, the amount of time elapsed since Christmas AND since we failed at our New Year’s Resolutions as well a general feelings of low motivation are all contributors to feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
It was originally a PR invention but it’s now an annual event.
Why do some charities say Blue Monday is bad?
Mind, the Mental Health charity, says it has no basis in scientific research.
“Here at Mind, we think it’s dangerously misleading,” it says on its website.
“Those of us who live with depression know that those feelings aren’t dictated by the date.
“Implying that they are perpetuates the myth that depression is just ‘feeling a bit down’, something that doesn’t need to be taken seriously.”
The Samaritans are also aiming to change it to Brew Monday, by offering a cuppa and chat at events across the UK – the Samaritans helpline is also free to call all year around.
How can you feel better on Blue Monday?
Get working out, it’s a well known fact that exercise releases good endorphins, which naturally make you feel happier.
You can also book something to do, or plan a trip. Maybe pop to the cinema or make plans for your evening.
What if you’re feeling depressed?
There are charities there ready to listen. Speak to your doctor, family or friends.
You can contact Mind as well here.
Like we say, it may be a day cry quietly into a tub of something with a high sugar and fat content .