More often than not, the third Monday in January has become commonly known as ‘Blue Monday’. The one day of the year where it is ‘okay’ to be depressed because everyone else is depressed. Blue Monday was originally PR invented but it has since become an annual holiday and has even got it’s own scientific formula, which is as follows:
*Clears throat, points at whiteboard with stick, pushes glasses up bridge of the nose* Open square bracket Weather + bracket Debt Level – our ability to pay the debt bracket close square bracket x Time Since Christmas and Time Since Failing our New Year’s Resolutions over Low Motivational Levels x feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.
So, in simple human terms: as the festivities of eating and drinking, lights shining bright, Christmas trees everywhere and the general happiness of Christmas has now come to an abrupt end, instead, we now find our days are filled with work, dark mornings, freezing rain without even the hope of a sprinkling of the white stuff(Snow, not the other white stuff!) After an early payout before Christmas holidays, the wait is even longer till the next paycheck arrives which doesn’t help the debt built up during the celebrations.
As well as growing debt and physiques, with the end of the year comes the start of a new, and we as humans, love a new start to bring about reason to change. We want to change things about ourselves that we have lived with for all the previous years and keep meaning to do something about but never quite got round to it. Alas, worry no more non amie as the New Year is the time to do this! Or is it?
So now we have in addition to the building up of debt, the physical after mouth on our appearance after the festivities indulgences and the grey days, we also need to change ourselves. All at a time when our motivation is at an all time low thanks to everything mentioned above. It’s a cicious circle really. A rather exhausting one!
Blue Monday. The one day of the year where everyone concensually agrees that they are feeling ‘depressed’. That feeling of sluglishness. Exhaustion. Sadness. Hurt. Pain. It’s universally felt and acknowledged this one day a year. Tomorrow and every other day after aren’t as bad: nearing the end of January, pay day a bit closer and edging that bit more to Spring. And more importantly it won’t be Monday – because everyone knows that any other day after Monday is bearable.
Blue Monday is a continuous day for a lots of people. Some aren’t as lucky as others where depression only appears one day of the year. For those of us with depression or any mental health can’t just decide on a day where we can feel worthless. Feel like not getting out of bed. Having no interest in anything. The struggles and difficulties that come with the reality of depression aren’t just limited to a day. It’s days and weeks in a row. It’s spontaneous. It doesn’t have a reason or rhyme. It’s just depression. And it’s what it does and how it works.
I don’t have a personal problem with the term ‘Blue Monday’ or the concept of it but I do know it troubles a lot of people because as mentioned, depression isn’t specifically linked to just one day. It also gives the impression that it’s easy to deal with, it’s not as life impacting as it actually is. It promotes the idea that depression is just feeling a bit bleurgh because of external factors. That isnt what depression is or how it should be perceived.
But instead of belittling this annual event I think we should take it in our stride and use it to get people to talk more about depression. Help people understand it. Talk about it. Communicate more openly about the symptoms of depression. The feeling. The suffering. The things we can do to help each other.
But most importantly I think we should use Blue Monday as a reminder to just check up on those we care about. Start a conversation with them. Show them you’re thinking of them. You’re there for them for whenever. It doesn’t matter if they suffer with mental health or not – in life we could all do with a bit of tender loving care and a pick up every once in a while and what better way than what has become known as the most depressing day of the year.
Not Quite Made Girl