Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 13th January 2024

Why Feel Blue On Blue Monday - It's Just A Myth

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January but what is it all about and what can we do to beat the winter blues or is it just a myth?

photo by Jaione Dagdrømmer
photo by Jaione Dagdrømmer
Why is Blue Monday so depressing?

Image by WaqasAhmaD8989 from Pixabay
Image by WaqasAhmaD8989 from Pixabay
The third Monday in January has been given the title of 'Blue Monday'. All the Christmas and New Year festivities are over and in the distant past, the decorations have been taken down and boxed up for another year and most people are back at work, even if some are working from home. Other reasons are the weather is cold, the nights are dark, resolutions broken and unpaid credit card bills start to arrive, so making it the most depressing day of the year. January for some reason seems to be a long month until the much needed pay day arrives which seems an eternity away.

The first Blue Monday

Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay
Image by Enrique Meseguer from Pixabay
This was apparently started as a PR stunt in 2005 by holiday company Sky Travel in order to sell more travel packages. They claimed to have calculated the date by using an equation. Dr Arnall has now admitted how it ‘was never his intention’ for the day to become so gloomy. But despite this Blue Monday seems to have remained a firm fixture in the calendar.

The formula is: [W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNa

If you are confused by this then perhaps this explanation might help:

W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing New Year's resolutions
M = low motivational levels
Na = the feeling of a need to take action

Positive Monday!

photo by Samaritans
photo by Samaritans
So instead of Blue Monday let us make it a positive Monday instead. The Samaritans always turn Blue Monday into #BrewMonday by encouraging people to get together for tea and a chat. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that #BlueMonday is any more or less depressing than any other day.

Research has shown that doing small things for other people impacts on people's happiness and causes positive effects. It can even improve your mental health.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Even if the New Year's Resolutions have failed we can still make January a time of fresh starts and positive thinking.

The nights will soon be getting lighter and the thought of spring and then summer are just around the corner. More holidays are booked during the month of January than any other time.

Top tips for Blue Monday

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay
Let us find ways to improve our mental health this Blue Monday.

The thought of the gym fills most of us with dread, but just thirty minutes of exercise can induce a surge in endorphins (also known as the happy hormone) and go a long way to lift mood.

Even though it is cold try and go outside and get some sun. Wrap up warm and take a walk outside, especially on a sunny day as there are always a few sunny days in January.

You don't have to run a marathon or take up an extreme sport, go for a 10 minute brisk walk, walk the dog, go for a cycle ride or take up an activity which you enjoy and then you'll stick to it.

Simple changes like getting off the bus a stop earlier or taking the stairs can help you tone up and feel great.

It's a recognised fact that more people join a gym during the month of January. Unfortunately the good intentions of January don't seem to carry on through the rest of the year.

Exercise has to be enjoyable not a chore.

How about making a gratitude list

Image by Nos Nguyen from Pixabay
Image by Nos Nguyen from Pixabay
Just list three things to be thankful for or do just one act of kindness each day, then we'll be a person who on a daily basis sees the glass half-full instead of the negative half-empty. This will also improve our mental health.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Image by Pexels from Pixabay
The importance of 'ME' time

In our busy lives which can become so stressful, we are told to take some 'ME' time which is so important for our mental health and wellbeing. We need time to recharge our batteries and make sure our mind and body are in sync.

Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash
Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash
Here are some suggestions:

Spend time in nature
Taking a bath
Looking at photos
Reading a book
Listen to music or podcasts
Get creative

So as #BlueMonday is only a couple of days away let us all think and be positive and turn the day into one of the cheeriest days of the year!

Image by Michaela from Pixabay
Image by Michaela from Pixabay