Tomorrow, Monday 20th January, is Blue Monday. This post has been influenced by a brilliant book I read late last year: ‘Shine – Rediscovering your energy, happiness & purpose’; by Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes. It really is a great read and comes highly recommended. One page particularly resonated with me as it showed that the authors share the exact same views as me on Blue Monday. I’ll pinch their description of Blue Monday:
It’s the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month), claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. This was calculated using many factors, including weather conditions, debt level, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, blah blah.
So pretty much as expected so far. What is really telling though is when Cope and Oattes describe the origins of Blue Monday…
Blue Monday was created, invented, made up in 2005 as part of a marketing campaign for a travel company to convince people like you and me to part with our cash to buy holidays.
Yes, you read that correctly. Blue Monday is a cynical invention designed to make us feel sorry for ourselves in the hope that we’ll part with our hard-earned and spend significant money on something to look forward to in order to lift us out of our gloom, namely a holiday. Pretty despicable, don’t you agree? Especially as the Blue Monday myth has become more and more embedded in popular culture since 2005. In Shine, Cope and Oattes urge us to join a number of mental health charities in fighting back against the idea and giving it a positive spin instead. I firmly believe we’re fed enough bad news and negativity on a daily basis anyway (more of that in a future post…) so I’d like to join the fight and suggest that, rather than wallowing in the misery of Blue Monday, we instead embrace the concept of True Monday.
You may be wondering just what I mean by True Monday but it’s quite a simple idea. Fundamentally, instead of feeling really sorry for yourself due to having seen numerous references to Blue Monday during the past few days, why not look to be true to yourself instead and devote just a few minutes to doing something which you feel the ‘true you’ would like to do tomorrow. The ‘true you’ would undoubtedly like to be happy and content in life so consider what would make you feel that way. It doesn’t need to be anything earth-shattering or ground-breaking either. Do you like to relax and watch TV during the evening? Then seek recommendations for a new show or box-set to delve into and watch the first episode tomorrow. Do you have a love of music? The same applies – seek recommendations for a new artist in a genre you love and give them a listen tomorrow night. At the same time, say cobblers to Dry January and treat yourself to a glass of wine or a beer. It might be a school night for most of us but one or two won’t be problematic as a one-off and the primary aim of tomorrow is to make you start being the real you and to make yourself feel good, so why not?
The potential is endless. Do you feel the ‘true you’ is slimmer, fitter or healthier? Then do a little exercise and perhaps cook a healthy new meal (obviously skip the wine recommendation if this one applies!). Do you feel the ‘true you’ wants to be a better mother / father / daughter / son etc? Then consider spending an hour playing a game or doing something which you consider to be quality family time. Do you feel the ‘true you’ would love to be a writer, musician, dancer, artist, cook, stand-up comedian, blogger, vlogger, fashion designer, or anything else that takes your fancy? Then take a first tentative step toward making a start, even if that simply involves a little research or background reading to determine how to progress things. Consequently, if the ‘true you’ just wants to be completely relaxed whilst doing absolutely nothing of note, then lie back on the couch and take it easy all evening. Do whatever you need to do to make you content and happy and let’s get rid of the ridiculous concept of Blue Monday once and for all.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do on True Monday and keep smiling – there’s always something to be thankful for.