According to numerous internet memes and social media posts, the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year, but why are we so quick to believe it and what can be done to beat it?
Invented by a British holiday company back in 2005, Blue Monday claims to be based on a derided calculation that equates unquantifiable variables like weather, motivation and debt. Just how motivation is measured or compared to weather is a mystery but the whole process is pseudoscience at best.
So why do we take it so seriously? Well January does come packed with potential reasons to feel down, from calorie conscious food choices and morale depleting resolutions to grim weather and post-Christmas finances, but don’t let the memes dictate your mood. For those of us not suffering from a genuine condition the wish is father to the thought; if you believe you’re supposed to feel terrible then you can be pretty sure you’re about to start feeling that way, but by acting positively, hitting the New Year with some enthusiasm and deciding to ignore the worry-mongers, you can beat the January blues and see out the winter in style.
If it’s a winter wonderland you’re after, give our suggestions below a try and let us know how you get on:
1) Make the most of the daylight. Sunshine actually regulates our serotonin level (a hormone directed attributed to happiness and well-being) which alongside a much needed top-up to our mood also dictates our sleep-wake cycle. When we don’t get enough sunlight our bodies produce melatonin, a hormone that prepares us for sleep, which is precisely why it can be so difficult to haul yourself out of bed on a dark winter morning.
2) Exercise. Regular exercise isn’t only good for your physical health; it has also long since been noted to benefit mental health, both through an increased sense of control and the release when exercising of endorphins. If you manage to take a walk, jog or run at lunch you’re in a good position to combine a healthy boost with some much needed sunlight.
3) Try something new. With the New Year comes an opportunity for fresh starts and a great excuse to do something you haven’t done before. If Aristotle is to be believed then we are what we repeatedly do, in which case a change of scenery and a positive approach to embracing new things can’t be a bad idea.
4) Celebrate Blue Monday. Give Blue Monday some real meaning and take some satisfaction from doing something positive by celebrating an opportunity to promote interest and discussion about the very real problem of clinical depression around the world. Here’s to celebrating Blue Monday and increasing awareness.
Celebrate Blue Monday!