Post Holidays

Starting in 2005, a British Psychologist, Cliff Arnall, believed that he calculated the most depressing day of the year.

He calls this Blue Monday and it occurs in mid to late January each year.  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/blue-monday-saddest-day-year-find-silver-lining-article-1.1007082

 

Arnall calculates this date on 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.

 

There is debate about the legitimacy of Blue Monday and it is more likely to have a 30 second spot on the morning news as an oddity, rather than a legitimate event.  In spite of the controversy about this day, I believe there is some truth to the idea that there are several events in January that can add to depression.

 

Sunlight can have an impact on a person’s mental health.  With the lack of sunlight, usually starting in November, people often begin to feel more depressed.  In the more extreme cases, a person would be diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The summertime usually has the opposite effect and allows for much more happiness and energy.  What kind of summertime activities can be carried over to wintertime? 

 

Was there family drama?  If so, it is important to find a way to patch up the relationships with your family so there is not an extended feeling of depression and anger.  Often, a phone call or going to lunch is a great way to cut through the tension and find ways to make up and move on.  If the problem is ignored, it will likely be here for the rest of the season

 

Did you overspend?  It is so common for people to get caught up in the giving spirit of the holiday season that they spend more than they can afford.  As a result, credit cards come due in January and maybe there is no money to pay the upcoming bills. What is your financial plan to pay off your debts? Is there a need to contact a consumer credit counseling agency to help?   

 

What do you have to look forward to?  You probably won’t have a day off work for the next five months.  There won’t be any more gatherings, gifts or excitement for a while.  It is important to make time to have social contact, hobbies, and other activities.  Just because the holidays are over, it does not mean there is nothing to do.

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