Blue Monday isn’t the only day depression can strike. Here’s how to cope:

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Today, 15th January, is Blue Monday, a term created by the psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2005 after a publicist at a British holiday company persuaded him to create a “scientific formula” to find out “the most depressing day of the year”.

He took into account weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing in our new year’s resolutions, motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to take action.

Blue Monday.jpg

The bleak midwinter can obviously cause a slump in mood and there are some who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. The winter months can be particularly difficult for patients of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), according to Silentnight’s sleep expert, Dr Nerina Ramlakhan.

SAD affects about one in every 15 people, and is characterised by a persistent low mood, irritability and feeling less sleepy during the day.

Whilst January may of course be a genuinely tough time for some, the sentiment that has now lingered from “Blue Monday” since 2005 “was never my intention”, Dr Arnall said.

“Whether embarking on a new career, meeting new friends, taking up a new hobby or booking a new adventure, January is actually a great time to make those big decisions for the year ahead.”

As, Dr Arnall said, January is a great time to reset your priorities for the new year and focus on what is ahead.

It’s also important to acknowledge that, despite the PR over this particular date, depression can strike on any day, at any time of year.

Here are some tips on how to cope with the ‘January blues’ or low mood and depression:

  • Exercise;
  • Eating Healthy;
  • Drinking less Alcohol;
  • Scheduling time for friends and family;
  • Getting out into nature e.g. walking
  • Volunteering;
  • Start a new hobby or reconnect with an old hobby;
  • But the best advice would be to be open and honest if you are struggling. Talking to a family member, friend, colleague, the doctor or a stranger can help.

If you are struggling with the ‘January Blues’ or low mood and depression, please call the Samaritans free phone number on 08457 90 90 90.

By Reece Hobson.

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