Blue Monday - The most depressing day of the year

The third Monday of January every year is labelled “Blue Monday”. The reason is that this is the time of year when the warmth and cheer of Christmas is well behind us and the warm bright days of spring are still a long way away. It is dark, wet, grey and there seems little to look forward to. We are all cold, broke and feeling guilty because by now we have failed to stick to our New Year's resolutions to get fit, drink less alcohol, and be a better person.

Psychologist Cliff Arnall came up with the concept of Blue Monday after holiday company, Sky Travel, asked him for a "scientific formula" for the January blues. The date was calculated using a formula including many factors, such as weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions and low motivational levels.

The first Blue Monday was declared on 24 January in 2005, the day was claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The Sky Travel Company hoped the public would cheer themselves up by dreaming of warm sun, sand and sea and consequently book a holiday and provide themselves with something to look forward to. Blue Monday started as a marketing ploy; there was nothing scientific about it.

How can we combat Blue Monday?

Increase your physical activity level

  • Exercising releases endorphins which can help boost our mood.

  • Go for a walk on your lunch break or take some exercise, anything to stay active.

  • Go for a run or, sign in to an online exercise class.

  • Take advantage of any sunshine you can.

Take stock of your New Year's resolutions

  • Many people fail their New Year's resolutions within two or three weeks because they simply set unachievable goals (there's even a 'Ditch the New Year's Resolution Day'!)

  • If you have failed, look at why, were your goals realistic.

  • Use the failure as a learning experience, realign your goals and targets and start again taking small steps toward your end of year goal.

  • This will give you hope and the motivation you need to realise that you can still achieve that final target.

Help People

  • One reason people love Christmas is because of the pleasure they get from giving.

  • This is a great way to get a happy boost with no financial implications.

  • Simply be kind and offer to help wherever you can.

What tips would you add? Join in the conversation over on our Facebook page!

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