Today, January 18th 2021. is Blue Monday. For the last fifteen years, the third Monday of January has been regarded as the most depressing day of the year. Theoretically it’s because of the limited daylight, bad weather, debt levels, time to go until payday and low motivation levels.
This year of all years, we have enough going on without the media telling us that we are going to feel blue on a specific day. Despite originating as a marketing tool – thanks for that Sky Travel – the concept has now passed into everyday parlance and is used widely in the UK. In fact, the original author of the ‘formula’ used to calculate the day now campaigns against it. Though I disagree with Dr. Arnall’s original assertions, I certainly support his activism to #StopBlueMonday.
Because, in case I hadn’t made it clear yet, I think Blue Monday is absolute bullsh*t. Or boll*cks, should you prefer that term more.
What’s the science behind this belief?
Our minds are more powerful than we know. In the first and last hours of the day, they are in Theta state. This is a waking consciousness where we are starting to make sense of the world and organizing or planning. During this stage, our minds act like sponges, absorbing everything around us. If during that first or last hour you hear that this particular day is going to be miserable, dark and depressing, then that is the story your mind will play out!
We can in fact ‘trick’ our minds into giving us a far more positive experience, because if you tell it so, it will make it happen. Our subconscious (which is a superpower all of its own, taking up an enormous 90% of mind capacity and being 1 million times more powerful than the conscious) doesn’t know the difference between reality, and what we tell it. Therefore, what we believe and what we tell ourselves, is what we will achieve. It’s the positive version of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Interestingly, there are also a number of words that the mind fails to process, the most important of which is ‘not.’ For example, if you were to say, “I will not be sad today” (because the media have told me I will because it is Blue Monday), the mind will understand it as “I will be sad today”. Instead we can frame our messages positively: “I choose to be upbeat and happy today”.
Don’t start your day with a newsfeed almost guaranteed to be negative. The words we use and mentally ingest have a huge impact on our mindset. So if you fill your mind with negative words and stories, that’s what you’re going to see and feel more of.
With me on the whole one specific day being bullsh*t message yet?
If you want to avoid the apparent misery guaranteed to hit on Monday, then here are a few tips for you to turn things around:
- Choose to feel good before you go to sleep. Tell yourself using positive language that you choose to feel strong/energetic/happy/creative – take your pick!
- Welcome your day. Don’t hit the snooze button ten times – spring out of bed and say hello to the day. Then repeat your positive messages to yourself from the previous night.
- Remind yourself of what your day holds – what’s on that to-do list? List out loud with enthusiasm the items you are going to achieve and express gratitude for having the opportunity to achieve them.
Alternatively, turn off the alarm, don’t open the curtains, and just snooze Blue Monday away. There is always Tuesday!