If you are wondering what Blue Monday is, well, it is just as it sounds. Blue meaning depressing, sad, gloomy, or any negative emotional reaction and Monday, the most feared day of the week. That's a lot of emotions wrapped up into two words, right? Well, January 17th has been deemed Blue Monday this year on the calendar as by definition, Blue Monday falls on the 3rd (or 4th) Monday of January each year.
We are now well into winter for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and between the gloomy, cold, dark weather and our tight purse strings post the holiday spend and trying to keep our smart goals of 2022 in place, January is bad enough but when you combine it with a Monday, you get something else entirely. "Blue Monday" is the name given to the third Monday in January and has been coined as the most depressing day of the year.
Quick history lesson : It's been around since 2005 when the UK travel company- Sky Travel -revealed the date in a press release having calculated the date through an "equation".
Blue Monday might have originated from an equation but there is certainly no science behind it. Our friends in England would call this "bullocks." Scientists have looked at the reasoning of the date - analyzing its factors including everything from the distance from Christmas and the level of debt to failed New Year's resolutions and the wintery weather. Others have linked Blue Monday to Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a kind of depression that comes and goes depending on the season. The symptoms of this condition are usually more severe during the winter period which Blue Monday is very much a part of. It's believed that the lack of sunlight at this time of year stops part of your brain, the hypothalamus, functioning as it normally would.
We all have mental health and we can all feel down from time to time but suggesting there is a single day when depression somehow ‘strikes’ more than usual feeds misinformation and trivializes what for many people is a very serious issue they deal with every day of their lives. We cannot lump everyone into the same category. Everyone's mental state is different and requires independent analysis.
Main point…. Don't ignore those emotions and feelings but just don't put them into one basket because of one day.
Take positive steps to identify and/or discuss them. Here are some quick ideas :
Reach out to a buddy and check in. Both of you probably have a few things you each can share, listen and give advice to.
- Schedule a call with a licensed therapist. There is no harm in talking with a neutral party to listen and guide you through your thoughts.
- Focus on quality time with yourself first, quiet your mind by meditating, journaling and self-care practices.
- Spend time with others enjoying the company, sharing stories and laughs. It’s amazing the positive energy that can help uplift your spirit.
Care for yourself. Be kind to others. And be brave in the face of adversity. You got this.