Don’t beat Blue Monday, ignore it

DepressedAs if dragging ourselves out of our warm beds on Mondays wasn’t tough enough already, UK psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall has "officially designated" today as Blue Monday—the most depressing day of the year. His pseudo-mathematical study has shown that people are most likely to get the blues this week; and the miserable weather, broken New Year resolutions, and post-Christmas debts are apparently all to blame. Add to that the fact that Monday marks the start of another working week and you have all the ingredients needed to push more people to suicide than any other day of the year.

How cheery! Thank goodness for these clever psychologists and The Samaritans, the charity that has decided to back this initiative with their campaign.

But here’s the thing: if you think about today as being a bad day, that’s exactly what it will be. I’m no medical man, but even I know that by convincing ourselves that things are not going to go well today, the part of our brain called the ‘reticular deactivating system’ will automatically zero in on the few things that don’t go exactly to plan. It’s a vicious circle: you think the worst will happen and, wallop, it just did.

So don’t worry about Blue Monday. Don’t even try to beat it. Ignore it. Treat today like any other day: do the best you can, be kind, help other people, and smile a lot. After all, we already know how to be happy. Don’t let one silly marketing campaign convince you otherwise.