I’ve never been a fan of pseudo-science, but I find the concept of ‘Blue Monday’ in January interesting. I like Januarys. Much as I love eating, drinking, family-gatherings and socialising, it’s always with a sense of relief that the intense preparations and activities of December, Christmas and New Year are over and my normal, ordinary routine returns.
Blue Monday is a moveable day, depending on which travel company you listen to, newspaper you read or which news programme you watch. Some say that the second Monday in January (in the northern hemisphere at least) is the most depressing day of the year. It’s about the time when many New Year resolutions evaporate e.g. diets, giving up alcohol, stopping smoking, improving relationships, exercising more, spending less etc. The winter weather gets to us, trains are cancelled, the bank account is drained, bills from excessive pre-Christmas spending arrive on the doormat and the person you live with now not only irritates you, but provokes within you positively murderous intentions. Does this sound familiar? Are you feeling particularly miserable today?
I personally think the concept of Blue Monday is a load of…rubbish. I don’t believe any true scientific research has ever taken place to prove categorically that everybody suffers from seasonal depression, peaking on one specific day in January. This isn’t to trivialise true depression, from which many poor souls suffer all year round. No, this is more a blues of the spirit. I think of it as the roller coaster effect; if you ride high, you are sure as day follows night going to come back down again with a jangling stomach and a spinning head.
Can we shake off Blue Monday? I offer ten tips: (Well, nine really, but I couldn’t think of another)
- Smile, laugh and smile again
- Listen to cheerful, upbeat music
- Watch a funny film or show
- You don’t need those January sales items screaming at you in your e-mail inbox-ignore them
- Clear out a cupboard and get rid of all that unneeded junk you’ve been hoarding for years
- Work hard at whatever fulfils you-(Do you really want to lie in bed all day? Well, ok you might want to, but don’t; be purposeful)
- Avoid negative people; it’s a contagious mindset
- Do an extra kindness just for the sake of it
- Phone that old friend you haven’t seen in months
- Oh and did I say smile, laugh and smile again?
On that note, I shall now continue to chase my tail, or did I grow an extra one over the new year? I seem to be chasing two tails now and in different directions too. And look, is that a blue moon I spot staring down at us? Ah well, only 345 more days before Christmas…