So apparently today, being the Monday of the last full week in January, has earned the title of "Blue Monday" the most depressing day of the year. The razzle dazzle of December and optimistic outlooks of New Year's, all the smiles and memories and stories, all the hurry and excitement have died away. The hype and hoopla machine has finally run out of gas AND the credit card bills detailing the excesses of the past month have arrived.
Ah, but a little research reveals the truth about Blue Monday. It's origins date back to 2005 when Sky Travel in the UK wanted to drum up January business. They called in a prof at Cardiff University and he developed an equation to calculate the most depressing day of the year. Interestingly, it turned out to be in January! The idea caught on, along with the remedy: spend more money! The retail industry loved it and we bought it hook, line and sinker. But there is no scientific evidence to support a Blue Monday, or a Blue Wednesday in October, or any other day of the year.
Neuroscientist Dean Burnett calls it what it is, "This claim is incorrect. It is unscientific. It is pseudo scientific. It is uber-scientific." In short a PR stunt. In today's rant in the Guardian, Burnett froths,
"And here’s the most important bit: is it really the most depressing day of the year?No.
No, no, no.
No. Na. Nein. Non. Nyet. Mhai. Illai. Não. Nee. Ne. Nope. Negatory. Nada. No way, Jose. Nil. Nu. Nie. Bu Dui. Iie. Nem. Nullus. Nej. Neen. And, in case any Klingons are reading this, Ghobe!"
For those of us in the northern hemisphere Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) does have some credibility in the world of science and medicine - there just isn't enough sunlight to keep some of us merry and bright. But still there is nothing special about this Monday or any Monday in any January. And the first line of defense doesn't cost a cent: get up and go out for a walk in the daylight.
The bottom line for me today:
Blue Monday is a NO SALE!
(even for this occasional Monday curmudgeon)
Where there are shadows, there is light.
It's time to smile and kick off into a new week!
Have a good one.
©2015 April Hoeller