The day is almost over but as you were going about your business today did you notice anything unusual? Did you see hanging heads and distinct gloom etched on people’s faces? Did anyone smile at you? Did you hear any laughter? In fact, there was probably absolutely nothing positive about today at all, right?
Not only is it Monday, which apparently is the worst day of the week but, according to an intelligent person’s research and calculations, the 16th January is supposed to be the most depressing day of 2017.
#BlueMonday was created in 2006 and now the 3rd Monday in every January is labelled as the most depressing day of the year. It’s become an annual PR event and apart from making us think that life sucks, its main purpose is to sell summer holidays. The irony is that one of the calculations used was based on debt after Christmas spending and yet here we are being asked to spend more money and possibly create more debt!
Sitting in my car earlier this morning and with a few minutes to spare before driving to my next client, I took a picture of my view. Quite frankly, I could have been forgiven for feeling rather sorry for myself. It had already been raining for a few hours and with greyer than grey skies, what was there to be happy about? However, as far as I’m concerned there was nothing remotely blue or grey about today. I’m alive and kicking and it’s the start of a new week with more opportunity to do everything I enjoy. The weather alone should certainly be no cause for gloom and doom, unless you’re suffering from S.A.D that is or you’d just walked out of your hairdresser without an umbrella!
On a serious note, the worst thing about #BlueMonday is that it indirectly makes light of mental illness. The word depression shouldn’t be belittled or made fun of. You may know someone who is suffering and will therefore understand that mental illness can be a daily and debilitating struggle. The Mental Health organisation is quite rightly encouraging us to raise awareness of mental health rather than trivialising it with the hashtag. Any one of us could find themselves healthy in mind one day and on the brink of a breakdown the next. Mental illness ranges from mild anxiety, panic attacks and eating disorders through to OCD, clinical depression, and schizophrenia.
The point I’m trying to make is that unless you have a valid reason for being down then please count your blessings. Be in the moment, take stock of who and what surrounds you and be grateful. You can either be sad or happy; it’s a state of mind and if your mind and body are healthy, then you should be far from being glum.
So, let’s please use the word ‘depressing’ in the right context and furthermore don’t allow a stupid label to dictate how you should be feeling today. On the other hand, let’s think of those less fortunate than ourselves and use the hashtag to raise awareness of mental health instead.