18 Jan Blue Monday: It’s not just a song
For all you 80s babies out there I bet if I asked you if you have ever heard of the song “Blue Monday” by New Order your hand would pop up so fast to signal a huge YES! Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but it turns out Blue Monday is not just a popular pop culture song anymore. It’s an actual day of the year and the name given to a day in January (typically reserved for the third Monday of the month). This year the day falls on January 18th. The day symbolizes the most depressing day of the year. The concept for this date was first described as part of a 2005 press release from the holiday company Sky Travel, who claimed to have used an algorithmic equation to calculate the infamous day. The idea itself is considered pseudoscience so have no fear, just because it is “Blue Monday” doesn’t mean you will inevitably feel depressed, but then why is this day so notorious? How will you be feeling this day and what can you do to avoid feeling too sad?
In case you don’t know what song I meant earlier, here is a mini jam session for you…
Lets begin with a simple history lesson to better understand the origins and significance of Blue Monday. It basically all comes down to a press release published under the name of a tutor who used to work at Cardiff University located in Wales, UK, named Cliff Arnall. Some controversy surged on the soundness of his research and what equations he used to calculate the date, also the soundness of the theory itself. At some point after the release, the University distanced itself from the originator of the date and release printed in the Guardian. Since then, variations of the story have been reused by other companies in press releases to continue on the tradition of the symbolism of the day. Some have even used trends in social media to try to calculate the date. So what trends do they speak of and why are we still celebrating it?
There seems to be a strong correlation with this time of the year and high increases in cases of depression among the masses. Some could postulate the reasoning behind this to be what happens in January that doesn’t happen at any other time of the year? Well, for one thing Christmas comes to an end and people begin to receive Holiday bills. Other things such as general financial woes, the weather gets colder, gloomier and even the environment seems depressed. Soon thereafter you have broken your New Year’s resolution stop you know you broke it already. The truth is there are many things that may be contributing to the trend of this date and the reasons behind why so many people are still paying attention. Social media highly contributes to the factor of its existence and it tries to highlight a day out of the year to make note of how people are truly feeling. Keep in mind none of this is based on any “real” science whatsoever, so for the most part the phenomena of Blue Monday is as equally as important as when Kim Kardashian’s bottom broke the Internet. Since it is such a popular trend why not bring into light how people are feeling and what they can do to combat the blues if it just so happens you feel sad on this day.
For former addicts and substance misusers the Holidays could potentially be a very stressful, depression-full time of the year, so it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say January would be hell for anyone not only struggling with everything that is heartbreaking about the holidays, but even more detrimental once its all gone and you are forced back into reality. Whether or not you are sad on Blue Monday or any other day of the year keep these few tips in mind:
Preferably, we would advise you to go out and plan an entertaining activity. Whether it is going to the movies or enjoying an appropriate outdoor sport. There are all sorts of activities you can do to combat the Blues. Some will argue that when you feel sad or depressed, and there is a distinction, getting out and going is quite difficult. To them I say try to get out, because at the end of the day this is your life and health we are talking about, and your body biologically needs stimulation. If you don’t move your muscles atrophy (weaken and decrease in mass), if you stay indoors you will only get more sad, and if you don’t move there is no energy being expended by your cells and that will lead to weight gain. Now that is really based on science. So next time you feel the blues get out into nature and for those who love prescriptions, check out this really comical infomercial, for a good laugh.
Adopt a Furry Friend
People would be surprised at how much you can learn from owning a pet and how much they give in return. Studies have shown that owning pets helps stimulate individuals and lower depression. Animals are especially valuable for former substance abusers because they teach you so much more than just helping you feel less sad. For one thing they can get you accustomed to a routine. You would be responsible for someone other than yourself. Hence having a schedule of when to feed them, take them for walks etc. Owning a pet teaches you a lot about responsibility and having to take care of them financially, buying their food, pet care products, and doctor visits. Owning a pet will fill you with a sense of accomplishment and pride that you are able to take care of yourself and your pet. Plus pets are delightful and can fill your life with joy and entertainment.
Join a Sober Living Facility
Nothing compares to the sense of community you will receive when you admit into a sober living facility. We strive to give our residents all the necessary skills to learn how to cope with life after treatment and how to prevent you from getting bogged down by the past or unpleasant thoughts. So if you are a recovering addict and you are feeling down on Blue Monday, just know you are probably not alone, and a lot of people around the world seem to be experiencing a low. Just remember these tips and try to remain positive, while concentrating on your recovery. Here are some more helpful links to get you through the day
If you are board: Watch a Movie
Into some light reading: Grab a Book
If that’s not enough: Turn on a happy tune, play some Music