Blue Monday, named the “most difficult day of the year” strikes sadness in many, but why? Is there anything we can do to make the day better? Find out in this blog!
What is Blue Monday?
After Christmas and New Year festivities have come to an end, it’s no wonder that people start to feel the January Blues. Blue Monday, named after the “most depressing day of the year”, falls on the third Monday in January every year.
The first-ever Blue Monday was on 24th January 2005, after a tutor at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning was asked to work out the most depressing day of the year. That’s right, the saddest day of the year was coined in Cardiff.
How was Blue Monday worked out?
The formula used to calculate the worst day of the year isn’t particularly scientific but is interesting to explore anyway. The calculation includes things like:
- Days since Christmas and New Year
- The average length of time since the last pay-day
- The number of days spent indoors
- Motivation levels dropping
- How many days until the next bank holiday
- Average temperature
- Hours of daylight
How can you make Blue Monday less blue?
Since the creation of Blue Monday, it has been used worldwide as a sales tactic for holidays and health and fitness gear. It’s also been used as a collective way to describe having a low mood in January.
In reality, Blue Monday doesn’t have any scientific basis. We all have our good days and our bad days, and those aren’t for the calendar to decide. You may be feeling down on blue Monday – but that’ll just be a coincidence.
Luckily, if you are feeling down on Blue Monday, there are some things that you can do to help you feel better.
1 – Exercise
When you’re feeling low, exercise can be the thing you want to do least. However, getting up and moving your body is a great way to reduce stress and make you feel better. Why not head out to the gym, go for a walk or run, or pop on a workout on YouTube to follow. You don’t have to exercise for long – just 30 minutes of getting your body moving can help make you feel better.
2 – Head outside
You’ll be pleased to know that the days are now getting longer again after the winter solstice. However, the sun still sets at an average of 4:30pm in January, which is rubbish if you finish school, college, uni, or work at around that time.
Take any opportunity you have to head outside and soak up the little bit of sun we have or just get some fresh air… even if it’s raining! Maybe you could walk back home or head out on your lunch break for a quick walk. Bonus points if you can be surrounded by nature.
3 – Journal
Sometimes it may be obvious why we are feeling down but other times, we can’t put our finger on it. That’s okay, but it may be worth having a think about the reasons why you’re feeling low.
Maybe it’s because you’re feeling lonely, or perhaps your new year’s resolutions aren’t going to plan. Are you able to fix the reason you’re not feeling the best? Write down what you can do to help you feel better.
4 – Do something you really enjoy
This may seem obvious, but the most simple things aren’t always so obvious when you’re feeling down. What makes you feel happy? Maybe it’s playing video games or listening to music? Perhaps watching your favourite TV show or cuddling with your pet? What about talking to your mates or reading a good book? Find something that you enjoy and fill your time with it.
5 – Make a brew
Even if you’re having a good day on Blue Monday, the people you care about may not be. It’s important to check in on those you care about every so often. Samaritans have suggested that everyone reach out for a cuppa and a catch-up with their friends and family.
You may be able to help them open up about something they’ve been struggling with.
If you need someone to talk with on Blue Monday, talk to Meic. Meic is a free and confidential helpline for children and young people across Wales to access information, advice and advocacy. You can contact a Meic advisor between 8AM to midnight every day by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), or online chat.