Before we start talking about all the things you can do on this sad January day, let us first talk about its history.
Namely, it all started with psychologist Cliff Arnall who wrote a press release for the British travel company called Sky Travel. The original press release appeared in 2005, and in it, Cliff Arnal talked about the formula he used to calculate the saddest day of the year. He used all the factors we mentioned in the beginning – cold weather, no more Christmas, no money, New Year's resolution gone wrong, etc. He combined these with the general feeling we have on Monday and the lack of motivation we have on gloomy days and came up with Blue Monday.
Ever since Sky Travel's press release, this formula has had its ups and downs. Some scientists and doctors supported it. And, others, Dr. Dean Burnett for example, opposed it and claimed that ‘There is no such thing as a 24-hour depression‘. He continued to talk about seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that is triggered by the change of seasons which resembled Blue Monday. But, according to Dr. Dean Burnett, this disorder lasts a lot longer than just a day.
In the end, Cliff Arnal apologised for his Blue Monday and its depressive capacity. But, nevertheless, the idea was rooted. Now, we use every third Monday of the year to remind ourselves and the people around us that mental health issues are real and that we need to take care of them.
If you are hit with Monday blues, all you have to do is cheer yourself up. Luckily, doing that is easy. You just have to do something for yourself. But, if you have no clue what to do, don't worry, we got ya! So, here are some things to do on this Blue Monday.
If you are going to work or school today, dress up. Pick your nicest clothes, paint them with your most expensive shoes (yes, wear those special occasion shoes), do your hair, do your makeup, etc. Turn Blue Monday into a good-looking Monday. When we look good, we also feel good, so don't be lazy.
Some mental health issues arise from being and feeling lonely. The easiest way to fix that is to simply socialise. If you don't feel like it right now, go out tonight. Call your best friends or your favorite family members, call your classmates or your colleagues or even call that neighbor you always see on the street. Ask them to go for a cup of coffee and a chat. Trust us, you will feel much better afterward.
To save yourself from the third January blues, you can also treat yourself to something you always wanted. That can be something big like a new phone or something small like that Starbucks cup of coffee. Or, it can be something that can come in handy during this most depressing day, something like a weighted blanket or a SAD lamp. These two proved to be very helpful to people who suffer from constant stress, anxiety, fears, and even depression.
Okay, what is one thing that will put a smile on your face on this day? Planning a holiday of course! You can plan a trip during this holiday season (while it still lasts), or you can plan a trip for the spring or summer. Or, do it for the upcoming bank holiday. And, don't wait for payday to do this – do it today. Make those reservations as we speak.
We linked Blue Monday to depression. So, we use the third Monday, or even the second or fourth Monday to remind ourselves about mental health issues that can be triggered by depression (either the 24-hour one or the long-term one). But, if thinking about depression makes you anxious, just don't do it. Focus on something else on this day. For instance, focus on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This inspirational leader's day also falls on the third Monday of January. So, read or listen to some of his speeches – they really can do wonders when it comes to motivation.
Some people feel bad this time of the year because of their failed New Year's resolutions. So what if they failed? Pick up the pieces and continue.
Or make new ones.
Who says that resolutions should be made for New Year's only? Make one today. That will make you feel hopeful and motivated, and of course, it will make you forget that today's Blue Monday.
Dr. Cliff Arnal's press release claimed Blue Monday to be the most depressing day of the year for a reason. So, don't discharge his formula just because he had to apologise for it. Instead, use it as a reminder to check up on your mental health and on the mental health of the people around you so that we can all survive the January depression.
If you have been struggling with fears, anxiety, depression, etc., check up on yourself. Go and see a therapist, do something that will help you ease your symptoms, and talk to people about it. Do it to make yourself feel better and also to raise awareness.
Moreover, even if you didn't notice any problems, use this day to dig a bit deeper. Sit down and think about the things you have been struggling with lately – you never know what is hiding under all those layers of your psyche.
Don't forget to check up on the people around you. It doesn't matter whether they are struggling with something or not, talk about anxiety and depression. Be open. We all need to be more open about this. Mental health problems are not something we should be ashamed of. The more we talk about them, the more lives we will save!
And that's all you need to know about Blue Monday! So, what are you going to do to prepare for this statistically sad day? Let us know in the comments!