The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday, a day believed to be the most depressing of the year. It has been suggested that a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold winter weather and failed New Year’s resolutions all contribute to making this particular day particularly difficult for many. The term originated in 2005 when Sky Travel used an equation to try to calculate what the saddest day of the year was. Their equation factored in elements like weather, debt levels, time since Christmas, motivation and more. The date it supposedly produced was the third Monday of January – and Blue Monday was born.
For those struggling with mental health issues, the transition from Christmas to New Year often brings an extra layer of difficulty as they face loneliness and a sense of disconnection from their regular routine.
The post-Christmas blues are common; in fact, research suggests that over half (52%) of Brits experience mild depression during this period. This may come as no surprise given that many feel overwhelmed by debt accrued over the holiday season or pressure to fulfil New Year’s resolutions which can often seem out of reach.
How can I avoid Blue Monday?
Monday’s have often been associated with dread and apprehension, but this doesn’t need to be the case! There are plenty of ways to turn a dreary Monday into an adventurous and exciting one. Here are a few simple tasks that can help you subvert the depressing connotations of the day and make it a brilliant Monday.
First, try setting yourself positive goals for the day. Take time to plan out your morning routine, decide what tasks you want to accomplish throughout the week and set realistic deadlines for yourself. This will give you a sense of purpose when Monday arrives and provide motivation for tackling any difficult tasks that may arise during your work week.
Secondly, take some time out from your routine to do something enjoyable.
A new week brings with it a sense of anticipation and excitement. Each day is a chance to start anew, or make progress on goals that you have set for yourself. When you wake up in the morning, take a moment to think about what your plans are for the day ahead. You may be heading off to work, so why not also consider how you’d like to spend your evening?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.
SAD is most common during the darker months, when there’s less daylight to keep our moods balanced. It’s estimated that around 5% of people in the UK suffer from SAD during the winter months – but it can affect anyone at any time. Symptoms range from feeling down or low in energy, to sleeping too much or having difficulty concentrating. People with SAD may also experience changes in appetite, especially cravings for sweet or starchy food.
This month is a tough one. Whether the weather has been unpredictable or you are just feeling worn out from the daily grind, it is completely normal to feel run down. The winter months can be especially difficult as there is less sunlight and fewer opportunities to get exercise outdoors. It’s no wonder why so many people feel sluggish during this time of year!
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are some simple things that you can do in order to help keep your energy levels up even when you’re feeling tired and run down. First, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep each night – aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep if possible. Additionally, try incorporating activities into your routine that will boost your mood such as yoga or meditation.
A range of treatments are available to help with SAD including lifestyle measures, light therapy, antidepressants and talking therapies.