January 18 Is Blue Monday, Most Depressing Day of the Year

There are ways to fight the blues, experts say, but it won’t help

  January 18 is Blue Monday, admittedly the most miserable day of the year
Today, January 18, is officially the most depressing day of the year, which is why it has come to be known as Blue Monday. Useless to say, today nothing works and, consequently, it’s the worst moment to start something new or take risks, either at work or in one’s personal life. There are ways to fight the blues but, as the Guardian puts it, the best would probably be to just call in sick and stay in bed.

The idea that there is one single day when we’re most likely to feel down was introduced by British psychologist Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University in 2005. By taking into account a series of factors, including the weather, the payday and the days left until the next one, days since the first New Year resolution was broken and days gone since Christmas, Dr. Arnall came up with the concept of Blue Monday, also known as the most miserable day of the entire year. Of course, not everybody agrees with it, on the premise that the entire month of January can be a period when one is in low spirits.

“While on the payroll of a PR firm five years ago Arnall ‘calculated’ that the third Monday in January was the most miserable day of the year. To make this divination, the former Cardiff University lecturer came up with a complicated equation comprising seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action,” the Guardian writes.

Since then, Blue Monday is the day when most people choose to call in sick or to take brief holidays to exotic destinations, convinced that, indeed, there is no other way to fight the blues. Still, as the Globe and Mail notes, if we believe in Blue Monday but don’t want to have it put a damper on our daily activities, there are other ways to get rid of it as well. First off, we should skip the fast-food breakfast and have some fruit instead. Secondly, we should make sure plenty of light gets in where we spend most of our day. An intense workout should also work wonders in terms of keeping depression at bay, so it comes at number 3 on the to-do list.

For fun, we should try a YouTube marathon, the publication recommends. “Today may be the only day of the year when you can justify watching substandard footage of a cat swinging recklessly from a ceiling fan. Toronto family doctor Mel Borins, who lectures about laughter and play, says the first thing you should do when you wake up on Blue Monday is turn to your go-to chuckle-inducing book, DVD or – if you’re pressed for time – YouTube clip,” Globe and Mail says.

However, before thinking of ways to fight the blues on Blue Monday, perhaps we should also consider that this is, at the end of it, just a day like any other, the e-zine goes on to say. Now, smile:


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By    18 Jan 2010, 18:21 GMT