Today is Blue Monday. The day in the year we are supposedly meant to feel at our lowest. The focus today is on our unhappiness and the press haven’t let themselves down in this respect with articles on a number of newspaper websites highlighting the misery of this supposed occasion.
Feeling down yet?
The Telegraph‘s article on this occasion cites Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and the death of many publicly adored celebrities in 2016 as reasons to be blue. However, these events have already happened, they are not unique to today. And although the celebrities who have passed away will not be forgotten, there is nothing about the 16th January which is inherently related to their passing. Indeed, by running articles on the fact that we are meant to be feeling blue, are the media perpetuating the problem? After all, focusing so intently on Blue Monday will, psychologically, make a person feel worse than they were doing before it was brought to their attention. The Telegraph also have a rather handy countdown clock if you really can’t bear the thought of facing today!
Privately, you might be regretting those large bills accumulated over Christmas or an already failed New Year’s Resolution. Of these problems, only you are in control. The first few weeks of a resolution are the hardest; they test the mettle of even the hardiest character. Given up smoking? Your cravings will be at their worst in the first few weeks. Resolved to eat more healthily? You’ve likely still got a stack of unhealthy treats from well meaning friends and relatives from the festive period. Stay strong; carry on when the times are at their hardest and you will thank yourself later.
As I purchased my coffee this lunchtime I greeted the person behind the counter with my usual smile. They smiled back. We exchanged pleasantries and I went back to work. No moping around to see here.
Although there may be research behind the claim that Monday 16th January is the bluest day of the year for many, the danger in publicising ‘Blue Monday’ is that it shifts the focus onto reasons to be miserable even if you weren’t to begin with. The self fulfilling prophecy begins at the point you believe that today was destined to be a bad day. It is no different to tomorrow, just like Friday 13th is just like any other Friday.
This morning I woke an hour earlier than my alarm; instead of lying in bed I seized the moment, grabbed my diary and noted down everything that I need to do this week. Once I realised that I was not going to drift back to sleep for any significant length of time I got up, took a look at my list and set about ticking items off as best I could. Unaware of Blue Monday, my early start this morning was as productive as I have been since Christmas. When Joel and Lorna broke the news that it was Blue Monday, it was too late. Today was already a good day…