Today is Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The rain is bucketing down here, and the light very grey, but Twitter is awash with cheery messages telling us to ‘chin up’:
I don’t know what all this #bluemonday yammer is about, its sunny and lovely over here. Pep up everyone! (Cake helps too)
Duno why everyones bleating on about #bluemonday – feel pretty upbeat… It’s all a state of mind ;-)
Apparently it’s #blueMonday today. Well it seems I didn’t get the memo! I’m Mr. Positive today : )
or alternatively, tweeting about just how miserable this Monday really is:
2 politics exams, driving to Uni at 6 in rain & it taking well over an hour, having no weekend cause of training? Thats a bloody#bluemonday
Realising you’re completely broke, need to lose around a stone of excess holiday weight, and it’s raining? Yep, it’s #bluemonday.
I’m going to get flu at this rate now it really is #bluemonday
Most of the tweets in this category contain language I won’t reprint here (I think they are stressed) or else they are in Dutch.
Another frequent comment is that only the British would celebrate a day of being depressed, and how ridiculous this is. As a marketing ploy (which was where the term Blue Monday originated) it is of course suspect, nevertheless I think there is something of value in recognising that there are times of the year when it’s perfectly normal not to feel 100% chirpy.
In Austria, which has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe, January and February were historically known as the suicide months. I think it is helpful to know this, and recognise the links between environmental factors and low mood. Personally, I always find February a bit of a washout, but whenever I am a bit low I think, ‘ah suicide month, this feeling will pass’. And it does.
Real depression is a very serious illness of course, and I’m not suggesting that anyone with its symptoms should just wait and see if it passes without seeking help from outside, but feeling a bit low is perfectly normal for this time of year. I am against the pressure imposed upon us by society to be forever cheerful and bright, like seasonal gardening (ok, maybe a bit of a tenuous connection here) it can be a good thing to go with the flow.
What do you think?
(and my favourite Blue Monday tweet: Today is #bluemonday. So if it’s like the New Order track it’ll be fantastic for 3 or 4 minutes then go on a bit too long)