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Don’t Believe the Myth – Embrace Soothe Monday Instead of Blue Monday

“Blue Monday” or Monday 19th January has been identified as the most depressing day of the year, but is this really true?

To uncover the truth behind Blue Monday, we should understand its origin.

What started Blue Monday?

In 2005, psychologist Cliff Arnall was asked to devise a scientific equation for a holiday company to use in a PR campaign.

Cliff Arnall’s Blue Monday equation

The equation W = Weather, d = debt, T = Time since Christmas, Q = Time since failing New Year’s Resolutions and M = low motivational levels, as well as Na – the feeling of a need to take action, may appear intimidating at first glance, but truthfully this collection of letters does not have any scientific proof backing it.

On top of that, ‘D’ in the formula remains completely undefined…

Even Arnall later admitted that the formula was intended to inspire people to find the motivation to try things out of their comfort zone, rather than being based on scientific research.

January can be a tough month for many reasons but blaming our negative emotions on a particular day or trying to condense our feelings into a 24-hour time period is definitely NOT the answer. Instead, finding support in our families, friends and community can be one.

So, this Monday 19th January let’s all try Soothe Monday; make conscious efforts towards calming our minds on this day instead and grant ourselves permission to experience another kind of mood entirely!

Here are our tips this Monday

  1. Take a second to notice your needs. How do you feel today, what does your body and your mind need?
  2. Make time to take breaks today, even small 3-5 minute breaks where you can just relax and breathe. Or longer 15 minute breaks to go for a walk, listen to a podcast or read a book.
  3. Put down your phone. It’s easy to want to scroll to distract ourselves, but this can leave our brains frazzled with an overload of information and feeling wound-up.
  4. If you have goals this January or New Year be kind to yourself. Remember working towards to goal is what matters, not how fast you get there. Be kind to your mind.

Here to help

If you’re struggling with your mental health, try and talk to someone you trust. Oxfordshire Mind’s Information Service can provide you with free support, and access to local mental health services. Phone: 01865 247788, or email info@oxfordshiremind.org.uk.