Nicola Morgan

Author, Speaker, Supporter

Understanding and Supporting Your Teenagers – few spaces left and I’m not doing it again!

Don’t be deceived: “Blue Monday” doesn’t exist and has no power over you

Pic © Jessica Devnani

“Blue Monday” is an urban myth. You might think the third Monday in January (this is usually The Day, though other dates are available) is designated as the day people in the Northern hemisphere are more likely to feel most “down” and you might think this came to be known after scientists created a clever equation (based on Mondays, the aftermath of Christmas, dark days, grim weather, credit card bills) or perhaps after they investigated a range of research. None of these is the truth.

“Blue Monday” was invented in confusing circumstances for a press release and allegedly sent to some academics with requests that they put their name to it. It was then taken up by (or possibly commissioned by – I honestly can’t work this out) a travel company, presumably to persuade people to buy holidays. There is no science behind it. You might enjoy this exasperated description of the lack of science by a scientist who is often asked to explain “Blue Monday”.

What’s more, the original creator of the idea claimed that his real motivation was to encourage people to do something about their low mood – presumably, take a holiday – not to provide a reason to feel down.

So, do not expect to feel sadder on January 17th 2022 than on any other day, Monday or otherwise.

Except that you might. Because if lots of people are going round saying it’s “Blue Monday” and that you’re likely to feel gloomy, you might get caught up in all the gloom and feel gloomy yourself. Emotions are infectious.

BUT we can beat such infection!

Here are my tips to vaccinate yourself against Blue Monday (even though it doesn’t exist) and laugh in the face of its attempts to make you spend money on a holiday. Unless, of course, you want and can afford to spend money on a holiday, in which case, go for it but don’t blame it on feeling blue.

  1. Revel in blue – find as many beautiful blue things as possible to look at. Actual blue sky or sea would be the ideal but, failing those, a picture or photo of blue sky or sea would be a brilliant start.
  2. Relax in blue – in a blue room or on a blue carpet, practise your favourite relaxation technique – belly-breathing, perhaps?
  3. Eat blueberries – just because they taste good, not because science says they will help your mood.
  4. Read Mondays are Red, because Mondays are really not blue.
  5. Forget about it – it’s just a day and you can do so much to make it a good one. You don’t need my silly ideas.

As with any other day of the week or year, you can, if you choose:

  • Work well when you’re meant to be working
  • Have fun – whatever “fun” means to you
  • Be active
  • Get some tasks done
  • Chat to a friend
  • Make some good choices with food and drink
  • Be kind to someone
  • Sometimes resist temptation
  • Enjoy your winding down before bedtime
  • Be grateful for three good things today

Blue Monday is entirely meaningless unless you give it meaning. Consign it to the bin – a blue one would be good.

If you think you are actually suffering from depression or are worried that you might be, it’s really important to get medical help.  The sooner you do, the better and quicker the results of any treatment. There is one symptom-checker from the NHS here but this is not a diagnosis on its own.

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