The festivities of Christmas and New Year have officially come to an end, and Blue Monday is in full swing.
Returning to work following a break over December’s festivities can prove to be a challenge and prompt a bout of the January Blues .
This supposedly culminates with the “most depressing day of the year,” known as Blue Monday.
But what is Blue Monday, and when does it fall this year?
What is Blue Monday?
The term Blue Monday originates from UK travel company Sky Travel, which first came up with the concept in a press release in 2005.
The travel company named Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year as it is often when most are struggling financially, the weather is far from optimal, and failed new year resolutions are commonplace, culminating in a low mood for many.
When is Blue Monday in 2023?
Blue Monday takes place on the third Monday in January but can also fall on the second or fourth Monday.
This year’s Blue Monday is today, January 16.
Is Blue Monday backed up by science?
Blue Monday is more shrouded with controversy than actual science, as the original press release by Sky Travel promoted the depressing day in the hopes of selling more holidays.
The 2005 release claimed Blue Monday was calculated by “taking into account various factors”, which included debt levels, temperatures, days until the next bank holiday, the number of days since pay day, average hours of daylight, and other factors.
The formula, which calculated the most depressing day, was an equation that “allows us to work out the day with the highest ‘depression factor’ which you can then use as a focus for making things better, booking your holiday etc...”
Dr Dean Burnett, a tutor at Cardiff University’s division of psychological medicine and clinical neurosciences, rubbishes this claim, calling Blue Monday “nonsense”.
He added: “Firstly, the equation wasn’t the result of some psychological study by a reputable lab, but conducted by a travel company, who then fished around for a psychologist to put his name to it, to make it seem credible. It combines things that have no quantifiable way of being combined.”
How to beat Blue Monday
Go for a walk. If you aren’t ready to go outside, bring the outside in by adding plants or plastering nature scenes in pictures across your home. A study from 2013 suggested this does wonders for your psychological health.
You don’t need to hit the gym to benefit from cardio. Play your favourite songs and dance like nobody’s watching. Cardio is great for mental health and happiness.
Spend time with a loved one and check in on each other’s mental health. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like you have someone to talk to, Samaritans is available on 116 123.
Start to think of failure as a lesson. Many people become so gripped by their fear of failing that it keeps them from taking chances and growing. Adjust your perspective so that you see failure as learning.