The most depressing day of the year is commonly termed Blue Monday and it is a phenomenon which occurs once a year each and every year without fail.
There are a number of factors which come together to bring on this seasonal moodiness so if you find yourself feeling more than a little moody in January you may find some consolation in the fact that you are not alone.
There is one date every year that is calculated out to be the most depressing day that will occur for that year and Blue Monday is it. In 2012 Blue Monday fell on January 23, 2012, it next occurred on January 21st, 2013, and followed next on January 20th 2014. We celebrated the most depressing day of the year on January 26, 2015 and again on Monday January 25, 2016.
You can smile knowing you have survived each of those dark and gloomy days which means that you should be all set to celebrate this next one in true seasonal style. The most depressing day of 2017 will be January 23rd but with economic factors being what they are one does have to wonder if a few folks will decide to celebrate Blue Monday a little earlier this year than is the traditional norm.
The Who What Why Facts of Blue Monday
The very first date classified as Blue Monday was mathematically calculated in 2005 by Dr. Cliff Arnall a researcher at Cardiff University. In 2005 Blue Monday fell on January 24th which was the 4th Monday of January.
Mr. Arnall created his formula for the most depressing day of the year by working six distinct factors into the equation:
1. Weather conditions (Gloomy old January and its typical lack of sunshine)
2. Debt level and our ability to pay that debt
3. Time elapsed since Christmas
4. Time elapsed since failing our New Years resolutions
5. Our general seasonal motivational levels
6. Our need to take action and to have something to look forward to. During January and depending on where you reside there are no statutory holidays in the near fore-see-able future. Gasp!
It was calculated that most of these events would come into play by the third week of the month of January. With Monday typically being the most depressing day of the week, it was selected as the date when these factors would be most likely to reach their peak.
The very first Blue Monday was Monday January 24. 2005. In 2011 the perpetual calendar rolled around to it's starting point lining up perfectly with Monday January 24, 2011.
A Bird Feeder Can be a Delightful Way to Chirp Things up a Little
Set up a feeder where it is convenient for you to watch the birds enjoy the bounty you provide for them. Wintering birds can be wonderfully entertaining and they will certainly appreciate the gift of a free meal or two.
Is it Economic Factors or Simply Confusion as to the Correct Date?
Traditionally Blue Monday has fallen on the Monday which begins the last full week in January but in 2009 economics may have played a role and caused some individuals to celebrate a little earlier than the norm.
Predictors were handing out two dates for the most depressing day of 2009 with January 19 and January 26 both being referred to as the more accurate date. Confusion reigned world wide as to which date was indeed the actual most depressing day of 2009. For 2010 this trend continued with both the 18 and 25th of January pinpointed as possible Blue Mondays.
It is difficult to tell which date is the more accurate as each date seemed to have picked up its fair share of tears. Perhaps the economic depression had brought the accumulation of mood factors together a little sooner than was the norm or perhaps the date for Blue Monday was simply confused.
So when exactly is the most depressing day of the year? If no other external factors occur then Blue Monday will fall on the Monday that begins the last full week of the month of January. Note that Blue Monday will occasionally fall on the fourth Monday in January and not the third. It is something to ponder. Also see NBC News: Jan. 24, 2005 called worst day of the year.
So How Does One Feel About Such a Depressing Day?
I am actually glad that someone came up with the reasoning behind my seasonal moodiness because I was under the simple impression that I was just being plain old grouchy mean around this time of year.
It may sound strange but I am more than slightly relieved to discover that I am actually scientifically depressed. I would never have guessed this otherwise so thank you Dr. Arnall for that bit of enlightenment.
There is nothing more rewarding than discovering that I am capable of celebrating the most depressing day of the year in the perfect holiday mood. Ha.
Actually it is kind of nice to know that there is a valid reason for my seasonal moodiness and that I am not alone in suffering the effects of seasonal depression. It means that it is somewhat normal behavior for me to be feeling a little moody in the month of January.
It all makes sense. As the Christmas season wound down I found myself getting geared into the perfect mental attitude to celebrate Blue Monday.
So for anyone else who may find themselves in a slightly bluer than usual mood in January, relax. You are not alone. You are probably just preparing to join me in celebrating the most depressing day of the year.
The good news is that if you know why you are feeling down that it does somehow manage to take the sting out of the situation.
A little dose of the winter blues is quite normal behavior at this point in the year. Blue Monday isn't quite so depressing when it can be viewed with a touch of humor and celebrated accordingly.
Can Blue Monday be Avoided?
It may be unlikely that you can avoid feeling a little lower in spirits on the most depressing day of the year but don't despair, there is just the remotest itty bitty teeny weeniest chance that you might be lucky enough to squiggle out from under that all too heavy weight of statistical evidence to the contrary.
You could be the one individual who stands out from the crowd and actually has a super happy giggly giddy Blue Monday. You could win the lottery the week before Blue Monday hits or you could discover that the person you have been secretly admiring for all these years is actually head over heels crazy in love with you. Those are the type of events that would surely help a person to avoid January's gloomy moodiness.
Odds are though that neither one of those weirdly wonderful events will happen to you and odds are that you just might get a little sad on Blue Monday. Oh darn.
There are Quite a Few Ways to Lesson the Impact
A few tips to soften the seasonal effects of January moodiness.
1. If you have holidays due and can afford a really nice vacation then take them in January and travel off to somewhere nice and sunny.
2. Increase your exercise during the winter months. This is usually when our activity levels decrease and added weight, boredom, and too much time spent thinking only add to depression.
Get outside and go for a walk. It is a proven fact that exercise eases depression. If the cold weather isn't exactly your cup of tea then participate in indoor activities throughout the winter months. Sports like bowling or swimming are excellent for this time of year. You could also join a gym or fitness center or buy a treadmill, stepper or weights. There are many ways to stay active in the January.
3. Get outside into the sunshine or get under lights which simulate sunlight. In winter months not only is there less sunshine beaming down on us but we also seem to be avoiding it whenever we can. Most of us have a tendency to hibernate indoors as much as we can to avoid the cold winter weather. This only increases our need for sunshine during the gloomy short days of winter and we actually become bluer because of it. So get outdoors or get yourself under a heat lamp and insure that you are getting your fair share of sunlight.
4. Phone up a friend and meet them for a hot beverage at your favorite local restaurant.
5. Do something that you have been putting off like cleaning the basement, baking up a batch of cookies, or writing that best selling novel.
6. Get online. Talk to friends, join a group, build a webpage, or play some games. Socialize.
Don't be too upset if these tips fail and you do find yourself becoming an unwilling participate of the most depressing day of the year. Relax. You are not alone. There are more than a few of us who will be enjoying the effects of January's Blue Monday. I'll probably be sitting at my computer with a special little something to drink in one hand and a Kleenex in my other. After all it is a seasonal tradition.
Many Winter Sports are Fun - Grab Your Toboggan and Play
Did You Know That the More You Smile the Happier You Will be?
Most people think that happy people just smile and laugh a lot more than the rest of us. Being happy actually happens the opposite way around. The more we smile the happier we get.
Now this is a very important little tip for those who just may not be as happy as they should be. Just in case you didn't know it, your brain does an amazing thing when you smile or laugh cause it releases a little chemical that actually gives you a feeling of well being, warmth, and happiness whenever you do one of these things. So the truth is that smiling and laughing as often as you can actually does make you a happier person.
If you try to find a reason to smile or laugh whenever you can then you just may wind up being a much happier person. There are plenty of ways to get you smiling, giggling, or just overall feeling goofy but you have to figure out the methods which work best for you.
It took me a heck of a lot of researching to come up with the simple fact that looking happy actually does makes you happy. Interesting stuff huh?
A Tip of the Hat to Someone Who has Shared a Lot of Happiness
A big thank you to the creator of the smiley. The first smiley was created in 1963 by Harvey R. Ball. Mr. Ball was co-owner of a public relations firm and he created the smiley to help improve the morale of workers within a recently merged insurance company.
The original design of a happy smiling face on a black background was to become famous, yet Mr. Ball never applied for a trademark, or copywrite for his creation. He received a total of $240.00 for the entire smiley campaign.
His son Charles Ball, quoted him as saying, "Hey, I can only eat one steak at a time, drive one car at a time". Mr. Harvey Ball was simply content to have his smiley out there making people smile..."Power Of A Smile". In 1999 Mr. Ball initiated the first "World Smile Day", and pinpointed the first Friday in October, as the date that it was to occur on. The motto for this event is "Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile".
It was Mr. Ball's hope that everyone could set aside at least one day of the year to devote to smiles and acts of kindness. For more information on this day please stop by and visit the Official World Smile Day Site. To honor his name and memory "The Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation" was created.
But let us suffice to say that It looks like Public Relations People really seem to know what they are doing. Thank you Harvey Ball for bringing us the smiley and thank you Dr. Arnall for helping us to better understand our January blues.
Find Your Happy Place - January Will be Over Soon
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