Blue Monday blues

Ijustwantobeperceivedthewayiam via Flickr

If you woke up this morning feeling miserable, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Today, the third Monday in January, has been designated ‘Blue Monday’- the most depressing day of the year.The reason behind this assertion? Well, Christmas has become a mere memory, yet the bills for festive excesses have arrived. The weather is dull, gloomy and cold. Holidays seem like aeons away, and we’ve failed all our New Year’s Resolutions. Oh, and it’s a Monday.

However, it’s important to note that the original piece of research calling today the gloomiest day of the year was largely a PR exercise for a travel agents. And what better way to cheer yourself up on this bleak day than booking a sun holiday?

The scientist behind the formula, Dr Cliff Arnall, was also paid by an ice-cream firm to come up with the happiest day of the year.

Unsurprisingly, it’s in the middle of June. He has since said that Blue Monday has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and urged people do be optimistic instead.

Whatever the pseudo-science behind Blue Monday, January can be a difficult time for people. For those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) winter is tough. SAD is a mood disorder in which those affected suffer from depression at certain times of the year. It’s usually winter for us northern Europeans. A huge twenty percent of Irish people are affected.

So how do you conquer the January blues? For sufferers of SAD, light therapy makes a huge difference. But if your blues are more minor, be sure to take a walk and get some of our limited sunlight. Be kind to yourself and do something you like every day. It could be as tiny as watching a cute video online or having an extra cup of tea.

Me? I’m going to blast New Order’s classic Blue Monday into my ears. Blues banished!

This article appeared on on January 16 2012. 

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