Blue Monday, Fact or Fiction?
January…is it really the most depressing month of the year? For many of us, it rings true. There has been research conducted worldwide which would support depressive symptoms at record highs during the month of January, regardless of location, climate, socioeconomic situation. It is my opinion that there is something to this whole idea. As we return to work and school after the holidays, there is an automatic let down that the days off and gathering together has come to an end, and a return to the M-F work or school week can create some sadness. Other factors that influence this time of year for many are
the fact that January is the month that the bills come in for the gifts purchased at Christmas, making January the month of the year when there is less disposable income .
the fact that in much of the world, the weather in January is unrelenting, either cold or rainy or snowy or a combination of all of the above. Weather and gray skies have long been associated with the blues.
Add to that the sad truth that there are more relationship breakups or changes in January than in any other month. People do not want to break up, change, or end a relationship just before or during the holidays, so January is that month where many take steps to make changes in their lives, and this often includes relationship changes.
Finally, there are the New Year’s resolutionaries. We choose January as our start over month, whether it be fitness, or our diet, or weight loss, and creating those new habits pretty much takes up the first 3 weeks of January. Developing those new disciplines in bodies that are resistant can create mood changes. Just being hungry all the time can create mood changes.
Are you feeling depressed yet? Wait, there is more. Many proclaim the third Monday of January as the most depressing day of the year, and have coined it Blue Monday. There are a few articles that posit the first Monday in January when we all return to normal as Blue Monday, but whichever day is truly the most depressing day, it stems from all of the factors listed above.
So, if you have been feeling blue, and it not usual for you, take heart and join the rest of the world for a few weeks of the blues. Understand that while you may be depressed, some of the contributing factors this month are being felt all over the world! What role does faith have in Blue Monday and in the most depressing month of the year? I think that our faith is what sustains us when the blues come, and they will come. Putting your faith and trust in a God who can turn any situation around and always wants you to not lose hope,and to never give up. Lean into Him this month and on Blue Monday. Let Him sustain you. I really like Lamentations 3:21-23,
(Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends !His mercies never cease.23 Great is his faithfulness his mercies begin afresh each morning(NLT)
as a remedy when the blues are threatening my personal outlook. New beginnings and second chances and the gift of each new day…..God’s specialty. Especially in January. Blessings, Susie
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Interesting links about Blue Monday and January depression: