Blue Monday. You can’t look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media site without seeing the term. Often identified as the third Monday in January (January 16 in 2017), it is widely reported to be the most depressing day of the year. Much of the information on social media is positive and supportive, offering information and help to those who are suffering from depression. However, is Blue Monday real?
The answer is no. According to Wikipedia and others, Blue Monday was created in 2005 by travel/vacation company Sky Travel. There are no actual examples of scientific research to support the idea that there is a “Most Depressing Day of the Year.” If this were true, we could also determine the “Happiest Day of the Year.”
However, depression is a real problem and any information and support to those who might be suffering from depression is valuable. So, while the idea of a Blue Monday is not valid, it gives us the opportunity to recognize depression as a real problem and be there to support people who might be experiencing depression.
How might you know if you’re depressed or suffering from depression? Obviously, sadness and suicidal thinking are often recognized as hallmarks of depression. However, depression can take many forms, including feeling hopeless, worthless, guilty and/or irritable. Lack of self-confidence, difficulty in concentration and pessimism can also be signs. Are you experiencing disruption in sleep and/or appetite, lack of energy, lack of motivation, weight gain/loss, lack of interest in activities, problems with relationships, or social isolation? These are all common symptoms of depression.
What can you do about depression? The most obvious answer is to seek help from a trained professional. Free and confidential counseling is available on the NEOMED campus by calling 330.325.6757 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Another option might be increasing or starting an exercise program. Research has shown that exercise is effective in decreasing a depressed mood. A simple Google search of “coping skills” will provide thousands of effective ways to deal with sadness or depression. Here are a few:
- Gratitude List: Each day, write down three things you are grateful for. A warm bed? Food on your table? Recognizing our blessings can be helpful.
- Journal Writing: Just get a notebook and start writing about your day and how you’re feeling. This link might help: wikihow.com/Keep-a-Journal
- Favorite Song, Movie or Show: Listen to or watch one that that makes you feel better.
Each person is different, and the key is to find what works for you. Even though Blue Monday is not real, depression is a real and significant problem for many. Don’t give up hope, because help is available!
For counseling at NEOMED call 330.325.6757 or email email@example.com.