Since 2005, we have been able to put a name to the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday. A U.K.-based psychologist, Dr Cliff Arnall created “Blue Monday” around 14 years ago to describe the third Monday in January, which he claims is the saddest day of the year. He came up with this after creating an equation that took into account the weather, average amount of debt a person has after the holidays and their ability to pay it off, the time elapsed since Christmas, peoples average levels of motivation, having to return to work, and how long it took people to break their new years resolutions.
The holidays are done, the weather is cold and dark, you possibly overspent on Christmas gifts and probably over ate at Christmas dinner, and now you’re feeling the pinch, in more ways than one. You’re three weeks into your new years resolutions and maybe you’re starting to slip up because, you know what, shit is hard! Well Blue Monday is coming, whether we like it or not, so let’s suck it up and figure out how to handle it.
First things first, it’s important not to beat yourself up, that won’t do anybody any good, but recognize there are things you could tweak and figure out a way to make that change possible, being realistic.
Think about the things that are bothering you and write them down, now thinking about each one individually, think about how, you can improve that situation. Don’t rush it, think about it logically.
Now I’m not saying if you’re looking at loosing weight you need to be going to the gym 6 days a week and only eating 1,000 calories a day, or if you need more money you should get a second job, I am talking about realistic changes in your life that are manageable. And it’s important to take your time with this, to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
The most important thing to remember is, its going to be ok. There is no time cap on your new years resolutions, and even if you wanted to loose 10lb in January and instead you’ve gained 4, ITS OK! The fact that you’re recognizing there is something that needs to be addressed is the first step.
Maybe you’re struggling with some bills after the holiday and not sure how you can get them paid off, think realistically, is there a Starbucks you could go without for a month, or maybe you could bring a packed lunch to work, meal planning is a great way to save on impulse buying when you’re hungry. Plan ahead before you even go to the supermarket, make your list that corresponds with your meal plan for the week. This will ensure less impulse buying in the supermarket and once you’ve done your meal prep, less impulse buying that take-out (which might also help if you’re also struggling with loosing a few lb’s).
Possibly your new years resolution is to loose weight and you’ve been trying to go to the gym but just not enjoying it, is it because you’re not sure what to do? Maybe consider a few personal training sessions or classes, or something I used when I first started working out was LDN Muscle (these guys are incredible with their fully comprehensive guides to nutrition and exercise, I still have their Bikini Guides on my phone and will refer to them if I’m in the gym on my own, I cant recommend them enough). Or maybe the gym just isn’t for you, maybe there is a sport you can try that will keep you active in a different way that will be more enjoyable for you.
“By an inch or a mile, forward momentum is the only requirement”
It also may be helpful to write down how you’re feeling, even if you’re not off track with Christmas debt or new years resolutions, even if you don’t normally keep a diary, take a few minutes to write down what you’re feeling. Its amazing how much better, just getting it out of your head and onto paper can make you feel.
Remember you’re not alone, millions of people are feeling this way around this time of year, so much so, we made an official day out of it. So as the Sunday scaries sink in, and Blue Monday is approaching, stay focused, don’t beat yourself up, and keep moving towards your goals even if you choose a different path.
As my mum would always tell me, “this too shall pass”.