“Blue Monday,” otherwise known as the so-called worst day of the year, is starting to gain the attention of Twitter and Facebook users as a reason for sharing creative ways to battle the winter blues.
Twitter users have been attaching the hashtag #Bluemonday to positive tweets about surviving winter’s sometimes physically and emotionally draining harsh conditions.
According to CTV News, the theory surrounding “Blue Monday,” dates back to 2005 when U.K. psychologist Cliff Arnall created a mathematical formula to calculate the most miserable day of the year — Jan. 21.
Known as the “bluest day of the year,” this Monday falls within the dead of winter, after Christmas bills have come due,and around the same time that new year’s resolutions become more difficult to keep.
Although Erick Blaikie, a counsellor at Foster Common Unity Counselling Services in Brandon, said he has never heard of “Blue Monday,” he’s aware of the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as winter depression or the winter blues.
“With the lack of sun during the winter and less daylight hours, we’re getting less vitamin D, so people have a tendency to feel a little bit more down and also coupled with the really low temperatures that we’re feeling, especially in the last few weeks, we feel a lot more cooped up,” he said.
Some of Blaikie’s suggestions for not succumbing to the winter blues include staying active, getting fresh air outdoors, maintaining a healthy diet and socializing with friends and family.
“One of the best ways to rid yourself of the blues is to go out with another person who’s feeling a little bit down and have some fun.”
Blaikie also admitted that their numbers at the counselling centre do swell a little bit in the winter, especially right after Christmas in both January and February.
“Sometimes people have expectations from Christmas that can fall short,” he said. “When you get a big family together there’s a little bit of conflict that comes out, old issues arise and you can see a lot more conflict around the Christmas dinner table.”
While Darlene Boychuk and her daughter Briana were at Shoppers Mall Friday afternoon, they shared some tips of their own for staying active and keeping the winter blues at bay.
“I like to eat, shop, go skating and snowmobiling,” Briana said.
Even though neither of them have heard of “Blue Monday,” Darlene said she could understand why people get more depressed in winter.
“Money is tight around this time of year,” she said. “Our bills are higher in the winter.”
But that doesn’t mean that everyone is feeling the sting of winter.
“I’m retired so I can do whatever I want,” Gerald Unger said.
Unger, who is from Saskatchewan, was in town Friday to see the Brandon Wheat Kings game, one of his favourite winter pastimes.
“I like staying in and watching hockey.”
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 19, 2013