According to various websites (and at least one I will actually link to) the third Monday of January (also known as Today) is the most depressing day of the year.
Although there are many reasons, one of the best (or worst?) I’ve seen is a mathematical formula calculating the date based on several factors: weather, debt, income, time since Christmas, time since last aborted ‘quit’ attempt (oh, those failed New Year resolutions!), and a few other things related to mood and motivation.
Of course any calculation can, at the very very best, only approximate the average mood. And we are not an average, we are individuals, so any date is guaranteed to be too soon for some people, and too late for others.
The idea behind is sound though – many people tend to “give’er a go” in January, only to have it fail in a week or two (or three). That, plus the lousy Winter weather, the bills finally coming in, and the first paychecks being cashed and disappearing immediately to handle aforementioned bills, means it’s understandable this is a more depressing time, than, say, sunny July.
So let’s move past the detailed analysis, and skip to the good stuff – how to ignore it.
Here’s Dave’s Procedures For A Great Most Depressing Day Of The Year – feel free to apply to the rest of the year as well:
- Slack Cutting. No matter what you’re doing, scale back. How many of us try to lose 10 pounds and get annoyed at ‘only’ 7? Aim for 5, and it’s a win. It’s only in your head, so get your head on your side. Remember, a number/goal that keeps you going is MUCH better than a number you get ticked at and give up on.
- Wagon Mounting. As in get back on the wagon. Not trying again means no more progress. So you fail, you try again. Good for you.
- Positive Being. They are called ANTS – Automatic Negative Thoughts. ANTs usually begin without something like “you are no good because…” and go downhill from there. They can completely irrational, but that doesn’t stop them from dragging you down. I read about A.N.T.S. and liked the image so much I printed out a big ant with a red slash through it. Do it too, and realize we have some automatic glitch in our system – and need to be ever vigilant to fight them when they pop up.
- News Fasting. Think of all those websites and TV programs reminding you that the world is burning. No news, no scare, right? It’s not likely you can give up cold turkey, but cut back on some. Avoid the most sensational websites and stations on TV (they know who they are), and pay attention to how much better you feel. Who knows, you might start cutting back in a big way – and feeling better for it in a big way, too…
- Health Watching. Exercise (as you are able/allowed) can be good for you. Eating good food is likewise a step in the right direction. Get some sunshine. Hang out with nice people. Start (or continue) a favorite hobby. And so on. Break the bad patterns/habits/trends that interfere with feeling better, both mind and body.
I admit these a bit tongue in cheek, but let’s be honest: Isn’t a bit of levity good this time of the year?
And one more thing: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. If you think you have a serious issue, please look into it immediately; real chronic depression is a serious matter, and needs more treatment than just skipping the news.
But for the rest of us, take Monday in stride, look to the positive, and we shall persevere…