You are not alone: today is Blue Monday. According to calculations, it is the most depressing day of the year. Christmas and New Year’s are a far away. Your presents already have found an anonymous place in between all your other material possessions, but you’re still on a low budget to compensate for your Christmas spending spree. And rather then thinking of good moments together, it’s the slight expansion of your waste-line that reminds you most of the holidays. The only thing you are looking forward to is Valentine’s Day, an awful commercial holiday, especially if you aren’t seeing anybody at the moment. And to make things worse, the first cracks are beginning to show in your New Year’s Resolution – maybe next year is the best time to work on the better you…
You recognise all this? Then you are likely to be a victim of the Blue Monday. Today, like every grey Monday in mid-to-late January, allegedly is ‘the most depressing day of the year’.
Except that it is not. Blue Monday is a phenomenon grounded in some reality – a grey January Monday isn’t likely to bring us the most fulfillment – but it’s not based on any serious science. According to the bogus formula, the bluest Monday was determined as such:
where W=weather, D=debt, d=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action. How a factor like ‘weather’ is determined is completely left aside. And the same accounts for the other elements of the formula. None of them are grounded in science. And actually, it’s Wednesday, not Monday which is the saddest day of the week.
Blue Monday has been devised by marketeers to sell holidays. But in a way, there is also a positive message. Marking a negative day can be helpful in our process to deal with negative emotions. Light needs darkness. Positive emotions, to some extent, exist only next to negative ones. Blue Monday offers us an opportunity to be melancholic, to dwell in misery for a day.
Or even better, being aware of the day can motivate and inspire us not to be miserable. It can motivate us to seek the company of others, to host dinners, to invite friends for a drink, as I did yesterday at my own ‘anti-Blue Monday’ party. Fight negative stimuli with positive experiences.
Celebrate Blue Monday – that is my advice!