Yesterday was labelled Blue Monday. It lands on the third Monday of January, the day when supposedly we all sink into a depressed mood.
Why is Blue Monday in January?
According to the infinitely reliable Wikipedia the date is decided by a formula – “The formula uses many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.”
Since 2005, when the label was first coined it has become a day for marketeers to go wild on social media. Thousands take to their platforms, sharing ways to avoid or soften the blow of feeling blue.
Of course, this produces a broad spectrum of posts; from those pleased to have something to hashtag about, to those who hope to target the sharing of advice and tips, to those focused on the plugging of products and services that guarantee to change your life.
As 2018 is my year of “showing up and being out there” I was all set to get in amongst it, to share my Blue Monday special offer. Then I questioned myself, firstly because I really hate forcing special offers and also because I know that Blue Monday is a construct, it’s not real!
Blue Monday was created by a PR team, based on questionable research, for a Holiday Travel Company.
It was devised to instil fear and scarcity.
It was devised to create a sense of need.
Blue Monday was devised specifically with the intention to encourage people to spend money.
The formula that created Blue Monday is bullshit and we know it, but the truth is, when we feel a bit crap or stuck in a rut we all too often seek ways to justify how we feel, so we believe it.
So now that it’s the day after Blue Monday, what is really different?
What excuses are you making now for anything that is bringing you down?
The one thing I like about the Wikipedia definition of Blue Monday (and perhaps its saving grace) is the reference to a sense of feeling a need to take action. Feeling a need to take action is something to listen to within ourselves each and every day. Even if the action is to do nothing. If Blue Monday helps us to get conscious about our life choices then there is joy to be found in it.
Being conscious about the things that we do and actively choosing a course of action is empowering and it gets the dopamine flowing.
Dopamine is a molecule that our body produces naturally and one of its jobs is to regulate how we perceive and experience pleasure. Consistently taking positive action towards the things we want in life encourages more dopamine to be released……which can mean less instances of feeling blue.
So if you want to be able to find the joy in Blue Monday, one of the first steps to take is not to believe the hype and instead listen to your inner compass, every day not one day.