I write fairly often about depression, and today definitely gives pause for thought. I wonder who dreamed up the dedication of today, 15th January, as ‘BLUE MONDAY’ - the gloomiest day of the year? Well it’s easy to discover: ‘The concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation’ says a national newspaper. Really? This sounds like a very negative exercise!
Over the weekend I received a late Christmas present which has filled me with joy: a calendar created from R’s own photographs, each one taken in the month it represents. Here I share January, as it would make anyone smile, and a smile lifts a little bit of gloom.
A smile is my first recommendation, but if you can find someone with whom to share a laugh, even better. This is a useless piece of advice if you live alone, but it is possible to laugh at almost anything if you put your mind to it, including TV and radio, and the internet etc.
Avoid the news. If you feel the slightest bit low, it's fatal to watch or listen to, or even read the news. It will make you feel worse - I know, because I've been there. Just now there is plenty of bad news worldwide, and enough quarrelling among politicians to drive anyone up the wall. Switch it off!
Make sure you are sitting somewhere light. Draw the curtains or blinds back and gaze out at the sky for a minute or two. If it's not too cold and wet, GO outside because it will do you good. Watch and listen to the birds, if you can.
The other reason many people feel lethargic and depressed on a working Monday in early January is just that - work. Many of the colleagues I used to work with are at their desks this morning, struggling through January to complete Tax Returns for those clients who for many and varied reasons known only to themselves have failed to submit their information earlier. This is a time of stress and work overload for all such accountants and tax advisers for whom 31st January is the dreaded deadline they must beat. Added to their burden is the daily worry of weather conditions, traffic and transport delays and cuts reducing their available work time, as well as the inevitable sickness of themselves and their families. I'm horribly smug that I no longer have to go through this!
Enough rambling! Wherever you are, enjoy your day and make it a Monday you are glad you lived through.