Why Is Blue Monday Considered The Most Depressing Day Of The Year?
When the holiday cheer has faded and the new year's confetti has been swept, there’s not much to look forward to in the harsh winter month of January. These factors are believed to contribute to the most depressing day of the year - “Blue Monday”.
This year it falls on January 16th, the third Monday in January. The date was first calculated by a not-so-scientific formula originally created by a PR company in 2005. They put various factors into account such as: the weather, debt level, the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.
How to overcome winter blues
Although it’s hard to quantify a single most depressing day in the year, it is not uncommon to feel depressed in the winter. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the cause of recurrent depression in 10 to 20 percent of women in the U.S.
A study from Harvard University suggests walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week improved symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Sitting by a light box (artificial light) for 30 minutes a day can be as effective as taking antidepressants. You can also trim branches near the windows and open the blinds to let in some extra sunlight.
Eating a healthy diet can help increase energy levels and boost your mood. Try to incorporate proteins (which are rich in Tryptophan) and vitamins into your diet.
It’s not easy going outside during the winter. But if you bundle up and do it, the benefits are huge. Spending time outside can improve focus, reduce symptoms of SAD, and lower stress levels.
Volunteering is a great way to meet people and have social connections. It also gives you a deep sense of happiness and fulfillment.