January 6, 2014
Feeling Blue? Some Say Today Is The Most Depressing Day Of The Year
[ Watch the Video: Blue Monday - The Most Depressing Day Of The Year ]
According to a UK psychologist, the third Monday of the month of January is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. And while the theory is based on a complex mathematical formula, some researchers feel that the actual bluest day of the year falls three weeks earlier, on the first Monday of the New Year.
Blue Monday, as the date is known, was first coined in 2005, when Cliff Arnall created a formula to measure the most miserable day of the year. The day is marked by a mix of dreary weather, holiday bills and unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions, to name a few. Adding insult to injury, this day is often the day that people tend to also indulge in frivolity, such as eating more than usual and being lazier, potentially adding to the level of depression.
Interestingly enough, the day was not developed as a way of alerting us to the dangers of post-holiday depression, but rather was a marketing campaign for travel firm Sky Travel.
Still, experts have since analyzed data to determine when the most depressing day of the year actually does fall. In fact, drinks company Upbeat analyzed more than two million tweets over the past three years, showing that the first Monday back from the holidays is when people post the most negative comments on Twitter, as reported by Mail Online’s Sam Webb.
On the first Monday in the past three years, the average number of negative tweets was almost five times higher than similar posts on any other day of the year. Many posts were riddled with guilt over abandoned resolutions as they return to their daily routine following the long holiday break. Posts about the drab weather were also six times higher on this day, according to the company behind the research.
Along with the closeted resolutions and grayer weather, data show that the most divorce proceedings begin on the first Monday of the New Year. This may coincide with the 1.8 million couples who have argued at some point during the holidays, according to data from DivorceDepot.co.uk.
While today may perhaps be viewed as the most depressing day in the eyes of millions of tweeters, the website BlueMonday.org continues to celebrate the third Monday of January as the day for gloom and doom. This year, the day lands on January 20, the site claims.
[ Watch the video: A message from Blue Monday Man ]
In 2013, however, there was still confusion over which day was to be considered Blue Monday, with some citing the date as Jan 14, and other saying it was Jan 21. The official date was the 21st.
Whether it be later this month or today, Blue Monday is surely upon us and there are things you can do to combat the blues not only today, but at anytime during the year.
A recent survey of 2,000 Britons found that just sitting by a window on a gloomy day or going for a short stroll – even during the short winter days – is enough to fight the blues, reports NY Daily News.
Another solution to fighting those winter blues is to utilize light therapy. While anybody may benefit from a little extra light therapy, it is commonly prescribed to those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a disorder that affects millions of people each year when the days grow shorter. People with SAD tend to be more moody, anxious and depressed and often do better with light therapy.
Still, you don’t have to have SAD to get the benefits of light therapy. And with so many people complaining about the winter blues, a little extra light can go a long way to keeping people happy.
According to the NY Daily News, there are no official guidelines on how much time one should spend in light therapy. However, it is best to find a proper light box that mimics outdoor light, and sitting directly under the light provides the most benefit.
For those who do not need or cannot get light therapy, exercise always helps. While indoor exercise is beneficial, outdoor activities may be the way to go, especially if it is bright and sunny. But as is often the case in many regions, it may just be too cold to enjoy the outdoors. In such instances, going to the gym or working out to a fitness video also helps.
For those who just find it too depressing to find ways to lift their spirits, they may find some solace in knowing that happier days are coming.
According to one study, as reported by The Independent, one of the happiest days of the year is right around the corner: Valentine’s Day. The study describes Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as being the two happiest days of the year, with New Year’s Day also among the brightest.