Blue Monday: Surviving The Most Depressing Day of the Year

Lisa Shomo
Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

New Years is over

We’ve officially rolled into 2018. It’s mid-January. Monday. How are things going for you right now?

For many, the difficulty of confronting yet another new year and what comes with it can be daunting:

· The buzz of holidays, celebrations and vacations has fizzled out.

· Resolutions to get to the gym fall by the wayside.

· Vows to cut sugar out of the diet are forgotten with a warm, fresh doughnut.

· Credit card bills from the holidays are delivered and rest unopened on the desk.

It piles up fast, doesn’t it? Plus, time flies, and February is just around the corner. You may think: “What have I actually done with the first month of 2018?”

At this point, feeling blue can start to creep in to your days. And you would not be the first to feel this way. Getting down on yourself when resolution failures begin to pile up is as common as the hopefulness you feel making those same resolutions a few weeks earlier.

This is where math comes in

Believe it or not, there is a mathematical formula, developed in 2005, that predicts the actual date of the termed “Blue Monday”, when feeling awful about how the new year is progressing reaches its peak:

Blue Monday Formula

This formula targets the third Monday in January as the dreaded day when these variables of possible misery and depression coincide together and hit you like a brick wall:

· weather (W)

· debt (D)

· monthly Salary (d)

· time since Christmas (T)

· time since failing new year’s resolutions (Q)

· low motivational levels (M)

· the feeling of a need to take action (Na)

Seems pretty thorough and utterly conclusive, no? Even if you weren’t aware of the formula, seeing it on paper is persuasive. The prediction of the third Monday in January to be the most depressing day of the year makes you feel even worse because it feels like it’s true.

Mathematics…or hype?

Even if you are feeling a little blue about how your January is going so far, there’s only one piece of advice I’d like to offer: don’t buy into the internet and marketing-fueled hype. (I’d like to add, I’m a marketing professional.)

The coined “Blue Monday” equation was actually invented by Cliff Arnall, who was specifically hired for the task. The client who hired him to make this prediction? A travel company, wanting a clever way to analyze and predict vacation sales trends in the new year.

The formula itself has been declared by some scientists, when asked about it, to be nonsensical and pseudoscience.

The Truth on How to Beat Blue Monday

It doesn’t take a complicated-looking formula to come to the conclusion that January, for most people, can be a highly unpleasant month. A big letdown after a long holiday season.

There are ways to make sure that your new year begins — and continues — smoothly, with more successes than failures:

· Make sure your resolutions are realistically attainable for you within the year.

· Take “baby steps” when attacking your goals, those small steps will naturally, on a gradient, lead to bigger leaps.

· Fall off the wagon? Be forgiving, and get right back on doing what you know you need to do.

· Have some sort of accountability set in place for your resolutions. Spouses, family, partners, buddies are important when you need support achieving your goals.

· When you need it, ask for help.

· Remind yourself of past accomplishments frequently.

Whatever your new year’s resolutions are, may you find satisfaction and fulfillment in your achievements. Good luck!

Lisa Shomo

Written by

Former stay-at-home mom who found myself a little late to the Content Marketing party. And I don’t regret it one bit.

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