Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 18, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home LifestyleCulture The Blue Monday Blues

The Blue Monday Blues

Rachel McEwan discusses the origins of Blue Monday as well the reasons why we should not dread this day in January.
2 minutes read
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Image: By Ritam Baishya via Unsplash

Blue Monday. Supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Not only is it a Monday, signalling the beginning of a potentially gruelling week, but it lands in the cold depths of January too. Weeks after the excitement and anticipation of Christmas and the New Year has worn off. When optimistic resolutions to go to the gym everyday has been completed the number of times you can count on one hand and the desire to break dry January has become ever so tempting. “New Year new you” now seems all but a distant dream.

Or so they say.

In fact, Blue Monday was originally devised by psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall in 2004 to aid travel companies selling holidays. Amidst the worsening weather and post festivities people are more likely to desire an escape. Yet if it’s just a marketing strategy, why do we continue to hear about it each year? Perhaps because it offers a chance to feel collectively cold and miserable in solidarity with one another. But it doesn’t need to.

As I woke up on the 15th January this year and walked to campus, the January sun was uncharacteristically beaming and I felt anything but gloom. I felt refreshed and ready for the start of the week, ready to begin my lectures and meet friends I hadn’t seen in a while. After all, Blue Monday is just a day like any other.

After all, Blue Monday is just a day like any other.

The label of Blue Monday can be problematic for people with mental health issues, building an accumulation of dread and anxiety towards the day, as people anticipate the worst. It is important to remember Blue Monday is like any other day – just one with a melancholy (and unscientific) label instead. However, I always support an excuse to eat some ice cream and watch a movie with friends! So perhaps Blue Monday instead offers a chance to check up on friends and talk about things that may be affecting your mood and remind yourself of the things you are grateful for this year.

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