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Blue Monday blues: Myth or reality?

Published on December 19, 2023 at 12:44 / Updated on December 21, 2023 at 14:38

It's no secret that Mondays are often considered the black sheep of the week. With the return to work or school after a comfortable weekend at home, Mondays aren't very popular with many people! But did you know that the saddest day of the year is a Monday? Blue Monday holds the title of the most depressing day of the year. 

When is Blue Monday?

Blue Monday is the third Monday in January. The exact date, therefore, varies from year to year.

Where does Blue Monday come from?

Why is this particular Monday the saddest day of the year? Because it's been calculated that way; it takes into account the temperature outside, the amount of sunshine, the time that's passed since Christmas, people's lack of motivation, and the degree of debt people have after the Holidays and the gifts they bought. This combination of negative factors is the perfect storm for depression and low morale. The result is the saddest day of the year!

But should we really believe in this phenomenon? Although these factors can really affect people's moods, there's no scientifically proven day that's worse than any other. No study has shown that Blue Monday is the saddest day of the year.

Winter blues

Although Blue Monday is more myth than reality, it's perfectly normal to feel more depressed at this time of the year. In fact, reduced exposure to daylight can cause certain hormones to go out of balance, making you feel more tired, sad, unmotivated and lacking in energy. When these symptoms last long enough, we call it SAD. Since the days are shorter in January and throughout winter in general, many people experience SAD symptoms during this period.

Is it depression or sadness?

It's very important to distinguish sadness from SAD and clinical depression, as it can be easy to confuse these two.

Sadness is a fleeting emotion triggered by a particular situation and has little effect on a person's functioning. Sadness is normal and does not require medical attention or treatment.

Depression, on the other hand, is a mental and physical state of depression and lack of motivation that persists for several weeks or even months. Depression is an illness that can affect anyone. It needs to be diagnosed by a doctor and treated appropriately. Seasonal depression occurs when the onset of depressive symptoms is linked to the changing of the seasons.

Don't hesitate to consult a health professional if you think you're suffering from depression.

Fight Blue Monday blues

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you feel less depressed on this gloomy Monday:

  • Enjoy the outdoors during sunny hours—increased exposure to light balances certain hormones that ensure your mental and physical well-being.
  • Move your body: try to make physical activity part of your daily routine.
  • Enjoy activities with family or friends to lift your spirits and socialize. Winter sports can be so much fun. Whether it's downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, skating or snowshoeing, there's something for everyone.
  • Eat a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Give yourself a moment of relaxation or pleasure: read a good book, take a hot bath, or watch your favourite movie to lift your spirits.

Of course, these tips apply to any winter day, not just Blue Monday! A well-balanced life with healthy habits gives you the best chance of maintaining your good mood all year round.

In conclusion

Blue Monday is a funny invention to explain the depression many people feel during the colder months of the year. Ultimately, it's no sadder than any other day of the month, so why not make it happier with a few of life’s joys?

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