Blue Monday


It may be “pseudoscience” but I think there is something to the so-called “Blue Monday” phenomenon. For those unacquainted with it, Blue Monday is a day derived as the third Monday in January that statisticians have claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.

The day was first coined in 2005 by a travel magazine, and what I think was an effort to get people to go on vacations during January. Why not go to a tropical paradise in January to avoid the crippling cold, snow and short and gray days of winter? A few days of sunshine, tropical drinks with tiny umbrellas and coconut oil is all a person needs to recharge their winter batteries.

The magazine used information like weather, debt level acquired after the Christmas holiday, failed New Years resolutions, hopelessness and other depressing information smashed together into an equation to come up with the third Monday in January to be the most depressing day of the year. 

But it’s all bunk, according to many sources, as the formula changes every year and it’s probably just a marketing ploy to get people to take vacations, according to experts who have weighed in on Blue Monday.

According to information on the day, it was created as a way to remind people to get motivated during the winter months to get out of the “winter funk, but is considered for all intents and purposes to just be a made-up, e.g. any other day of winter could be just as depressing. 

But whether the use of statistical data or not was a factor in creating Blue Monday, I think that there is something to a late January day possibly being one of the most depressing days of the year, although it’s hard to make that argument while I sit in a sun-filled office on a Monday morning.

But think about; if you work a job during normal hours most likely you’re leaving when it’s dark in the morning and returning when it’s dark. If I don’t leave my porch light on most days it’s a pain in the butt to get into my house and make sure the cat doesn’t escape into the night as I enter. February is just as bad but at least it’s a little light out at 5 p.m.

It’s also brutally cold and the weather leaves much to be desired. Residents know how cold it’s been this week, with temperatures barely going above zero on Sunday. Then there’s the snow. It seems between the major, and often giant, snowstorms we get throughout the later part of winter we get the smaller intermittent snowstorms that are not enough to shut everything down, but just enough chaos to make everything a little more dangerous and annoying to be out in.

And then there are the thoughts of what a person could be doing if the weather were nicer, but we have to wait until the weather brings and spring comes. 

All this taken in there are a few things that provide light at the end of the winter depression tunnel. One is light itself. I always say that having a sunny day in winter goes a long way, which is one of the reasons I am having difficulty writing this column today.

Although there is snow on the ground and the high today is going to be to 12 degrees, with wind chills of -23 degrees, having warming shafts of sunlight pour into the office windows from a big blue sky goes a long way to boost your mood.

I don’t care if you’re a cat sleeping in a window sill or you’re an office worker pounding way on a keyboard, having the sunshine makes you feel a little better.

There is also the prediction on an early spring or six more weeks of winter that the groundhog will broadcast on Feb. 1 that always personally helps me with the winter blues.

I know people will say that six more weeks of winter and six weeks until spring are the same thing, but just getting to where the groundhog is able to make a prediction means that winter is on its way out. It won’t be long before winter is done, the spring flowers are poking through the ground, and you’ll be reading a column complaining about it being too hot outside.

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