#BrightBlueMonday | “Enjoy what comes and don’t dwell on what you can’t control”Bradley King
This year, we’re refusing to acknowledge the so-called ‘Blue Monday’, instead celebrating #BrightBlueMonday. The event is full of fun activities to recognise that people live with loneliness and depression all year – and not only on the third Monday in January.
In our final #BrightBlueMonday blog, young reporter Anna Marsden looks at the origins of Blue Monday and encourages people to make the most of their month.
“The Heroes have all been eaten, your tree is back in the loft and both your overdraft and waistband are exceeding the limit. Christmas is over. It is January. Blue Monday is coming.
Everyone knows that January is the coldest, darkest, longest month of the year. You’ve put on some pounds, splashed the cash and are now back to the grind. We’ve all been there, stuck in the post-Christmas blues, reminiscing the twinkly lights, great TV and a whole month of eating whatever you fancied. It’s just been New Year’s Eve and the start to 2019 might be a let-down as usual. You have a full month ahead of attempting stupid resolutions that, for some reason, don’t seem to stick.
You expect to have some sort of epiphany and wake up feeling, and looking, amazing. In reality, you’re probably still wearing Christmas pyjamas and feeling down about the sparkly, twinkly, magical month you’ve left behind.
Please don’t feel alone. January is so depressing to so many people, there is even a whole day dedicated to feeling sad and sorry for yourself! This year’s “doom day” falls on the 21st of January 2019. It is termed Blue Monday – ‘The Saddest Day of the Year’.
However, Blue Monday is not necessarily as devastating as it sounds.
It was started in 2005 by a man named Cliff Arnall, who used it in a press release to persuade all those depressed and in debt to book a “cheerful” holiday through Sky Travel. Unbelievably, it worked; many people booked a holiday, believing their post-Christmas spirits would be boosted. The myth that was created to boost sales has come to be an annual holiday for the sad, lonely and pessimistic.
Sometimes we just need some time to cry – it does us good to get all of that out of our system. Perhaps Blue Monday is that day. Stay in your pyjamas, grab a blanket, and watch some sad films. This is the day you could use to feel hard done by – the day to regret and think of those ‘could have, would have, should have’ moments.
Think about the monstrosity of the year you just had and dread the next 344 days until next year. You can worry about all the weight you let yourself pile on during Christmas and stress about all the money you spent.
But, that’s it.
If it will help, use Blue Monday as a day to mope around. Getting all of that anger and regret out of your system will hopefully leave you feeling like a new person, ready to face 2019 with a brave face and attitude. Let the rest of January be a month of fresh starts, of new beginnings. Go and enjoy the new year.
A local event called #BrightBlueMonday has been planned to combat loneliness and sadness, with the tagline ‘Forget Blue, Let’s Make It A Bright Monday’. It raises awareness for people that are not just alone a Christmas time, but all year round – ensuring people are able to access support, group activities and others to ‘connect’.
Despite all of this, Arnall himself admitted he “never intended to make the day sad” and wanted to “inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions”. Maybe we should use this advice to show that Blue Monday can be ‘Bright’.
Prove January wrong.
Wake up on the right side of the bed and shower, using all those nice toiletries your Great Aunt twice removed bought you for Christmas, and leave the house smelling like a movie star. Dress in the new outfit that you’ve wanted to wear for ages and breathe in the cold new year. Meet friends: laugh, talk, smile and enjoy yourself by starting the year off right. Don’t let a stupid PR stunt trick you into feeling blue.
Blue Monday is coming – that is inevitable. The 21st will come eventually and I hope that you decide to begin your 2019 right. Appreciate the little things; that warm feeling when waking up, the smell of coffee, hot showers and your favourite songs. Enjoy all that comes your way, don’t dwell on what you can’t control and – most importantly – never regret what you didn’t do.
This year, take Blue Monday and turn the ‘Saddest Day of the Year’ into #BrightBlueMonday.”
About the author
Anna Marsden | Young Reporters