Divorce & Separation: What is Blue Monday?
For the last few years, I have been asked to comment on the local radio about this topic of Blue Monday.
My take on it has always been…how is it different from any other day?
The phrase was coined in 2005. Apparently it is the most depressing day of the year! A combination of January weather, post Christmas break, lack of money, dark nights etc. etc. all conspire against us.
This suggests that we have no choice in the matter. All of those factors and more are beyond dispute, but do they really have to make us “blue”?
In other cultures, for example in Scandinavia, the darkness/weather/cost of living are more extreme. Rather than rail against external factors, there is a culture of embracing and accepting…even celebrating the darkness and adversity. Hygge is a quality of cosiness and conviviality whereby those living in Denmark (apparently one of the happiest places on earth) make the most of the long cold winter conditions, knowing that spring is around the corner.
Are they so very different from us, I wonder? What would happen if we embraced our predicament and told ourselves a different story about 16th January?
Rather than turning a day (or even a month!) into a downward spiral, perhaps consider using it in a different way. It could be a time for reflection, future planning, preparing for the coming spring etc. etc.?
A quick search online for “antidotes to Blue Monday” echoes this idea and some suggestions include:
- Connect/reconnect with someone you haven’t seen for a while.
- Engage in some volunteering.
- Get out into nature…yes I know it’s cold and wet!
- Listen to something inspirational (e.g. TED talks) or read a feel good novel.
- Get active! Could be as simple as a walk at lunchtime!
- Random acts of kindness/make someone smile.
- Reconfigure your day so you maybe start work earlier/finish later when it’s still dark and make a point of getting outside in the middle of the day for an hour.
- Have candles alight in the darkness/make a point of getting cosy.
- Consider setting goals/challenges for the year ahead.
- Use the time to plan meeting with others/holidays/activities to look forward to.
You get the general idea I am sure!
The bottom line is that 16th January 2023 is another day that will come and go…how we approach it and what happens subsequently is very much up to us!
Andrew Pearce is one of our in-house therapists. He is a UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor. At FLiP Andrew’s practice includes supporting individuals and couples across a wide range of family issues.
For further information and advice, please look at our Counselling page and contact a member of our expert team on firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 020 7420 5000.