Don’t Ignore Blue Monday [PHIL-OSOPHY]
It ain't going to be just another manic Monday.
The third Monday in January is the mother of all Mondays. Scientists say it's nonsensical, but who needs scientific studies to back up that January 20, 2020, known as Blue Monday, is considered the gloomiest and most depressing day of the year? The holidays are over, it's cold outside, the pants are unusually tight, most of us have broken our New Year's resolution – and speaking of broke, we're that, too.
First published in 2005, a travel company called Sky Travel was eager to come up with a date when the most people book a vacation, so they commissioned Dr. Cliff Arnal, a British psychologist, to use an equation to come up with the date. By coincidence, the third Monday in January is also the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a federal holiday that overshadows any other observance here in the U.S. but that's not the case for the rest of the world.
Keep your slide rules out; March 3, 2020, is considered by some to be the happiest day of the year. Meditate on that, as meditation is always a great way to center yourself.
I know firsthand how to wrestle with the feeling of depression and sadness. When I was first sobering up from a life of drinking, I put my blinders on and focused only on the things I was most grateful for. I wrote down three of them, describing very briefly why they were positives. Carry the note with you and look at it during the course of Blue Monday.
Paying it forward is also a great way to get a momentary rush of endorphins when you pay for the guy's coffee behind you in the drive-thru. The other way to combat Blue Monday is don't turn it into a self prophecy.
Over 15 years, what started as a marketing campaign has gained impressive momentum around the world, and has become embedded in the internet culture. If you're feeling blue, talk about it. Don't keep your feelings to yourself. And even though Blue Monday is a myth, if you're suffering from something you know isn't quite right with yourself, treatments are readily available. Just pick up the phone and call your health care professional.
And finally, eat a handful or two of some blueberries.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.