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Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
4:00 AM 17th January 2022
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Why Is Blue Monday Depressing?

{}Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January but what is it all about and what can we do to beat the winter blues or is it just a myth?

Why called Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is so called because it is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. All the Christmas and New Year festivities are over and in the distant past, the decorations have been taken down and boxed up for another year and most people are back at work, even if they are working from home.

Photo by Lex Sirikiat on Unsplash
Photo by Lex Sirikiat on Unsplash
January also seems a long month until the much needed pay day which seems an eternity away. The days are long and cold, the nights are dark and the credit card bills are arriving.

The first Blue Monday

The first Blue Monday was in 2005 and was said to be a PR stunt by Dr Arnall's holiday company, calculating the date by using an equation. Dr Arnall has now admitted how it ‘was never his intention’ for the day to become so gloomy. But despite this Blue Monday seems to have remained a firm fixture in the calendar.

The formula is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ/M x Na

If you are confused then perhaps this explanation might help:

W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing New Year's resolutions
M = low motivational levels
Na = the feeling of a need to take action

So let's beat Blue Monday!

Here are some top tips to improve our mental health this Blue Monday:

Exercise:

Even though it may be cold try to go outside and get some sun, wrap up warm and take a walk outside, especially on a sunny day as there are always a few sunny days in January.

Photo by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash
Photo by Mark Timberlake on Unsplash
Exercise is something that most of us decide to do more of in January. You don't have to run a marathon or take up an extreme sport, just take the dog for a walk or go for a ten minute brisk walk around the block.

Simple changes like getting off the bus a stop earlier or taking the stairs can help you tone up and feel great.

It's a recognised fact that more people join a gym during the month of January. Unfortunately the good intentions of January don't seem to carry on through the rest of the year. Exercise has to be enjoyable and not a chore.

Holidays

Or perhaps you're going to book a holiday. Lots of people will have already booked holidays last weekend on Sunshine Saturday in order to try and beat the January Blues! Booking a holiday even if it is a staycation gives us something to look forward to.

Volunteering:

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Research has shown that doing small things for other people impacts on people's happiness and causes positive effects. It can even improve your mental health. Support a charity which is a way of giving purpose to your resolution.

Don't set yourself big goals as these can be overwhelming, set yourself small achievable goals that build up to your final end goal. This will help you to stay motivated.

Think positive!

So most of us are back at work and moaning as that's what human beings are very good at, but let's think positive and make January a time of fresh starts.

How about making a gratitude list - just list three things to be thankful for or do just one act of kindness each day, then we'll be a person who on a daily basis sees the glass half-full instead of half-empty.

The Samaritans always turn Blue Monday into #BrewMonday by encouraging people to get together for tea and a chat.

So why not turn Blue Monday into one of the cheeriest days of the year!