Blue Monday, the third Monday in January, is often referred to as the most depressing day of the year. The holidays are over, the weather is cold and dreary, and the credit card bills from holiday shopping are starting to roll in. For those women in midlife, this day can feel even more daunting as they navigate the challenges of menopause and changing life circumstances. Children may be leaving the nest, careers may be changing, and ageing parents may require more care. These changes can bring about feelings of uncertainty and loss, making it easy to fall into a blue mood.
But still, I argue these feelings may happen all year round. So, why are they supposed to become harsher in the middle of January? Is Blue Monday really the most depressing day of the year?
Digging around, I’ve realised that it’s just another marketing trick to sell more. Blue Monday is the name given by a UK travel company, Sky Travel, to what they think should be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first published in a 2005 press release from the company, which claimed to have calculated the date using an “equation” taking into account weather conditions. It was soon dismissed as pseudoscience however the phrase is still buzzing around and often confused with seasonal affective disorder.
If you suddenly suffer from a blue mood, you’re not alone. One way to escape from this feeling is to focus on the positive aspects of life. Take a few minutes each day to write down things you are grateful for, whether it’s a supportive family, good health, or a fulfilling hobby, reach out to friends and family, even if it’s just for a quick phone call or video chat. If you’re feeling particularly isolated, consider joining a local group or club to meet new people and make new connections. You may also want to consider taking a walk making the most of natural light, setting goals and making plans for the next season, or simply browse some of CrunchyTales’s articles and illustrations for an immediate lift. I usually find inspiration in listening to a motivational podcast, reading an inspiring book, or watching a TED talk.
Don’t let a marketing campaign decide when and why you feel the way you feel. This can happen any day for any reason but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid feeling blue.
However, if you feel very low, and despite numerous efforts you are finding it difficult to feel any better, then it’s time to seek professional help. Remember, it’s never too late to make positive changes and start a new fulfilling chapter in midlife.