MOST DEPRESSING DAY OF THE YEAR?
Most Depressing Day of the Year?
According to Cardiff University Psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnalls, the worst day of the year usually occurs during the last week of January.
When Arnalls first ran his “January Blues” formula in 2005, January 24th was the “worst day.” Last year, it was the 23rd.
So why are these days touted as the “worst?”
Arnalls, a psychologist, developed a formula that factors in equations such as the weather, realization of holiday debt (i.e.; you get the credit card bill), time since the holidays, time since failed quit attempts (a.k.a. New Years’ resolutions gone wrong), and general lack of motivation.
This formula is known as the “January Blues Day Formula,” and while it may seem like rocket science, it actually makes a great deal of sense.
JANUARY BLUES DAY FORMULA
1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA. Where:
d: Money due in January pay
T: Time since Christmas
Q: Time since failed quit attempt
M: General motivational levels
NA: The need to take action
Well, January isn’t exactly known as bikini weather in many parts of the world. In fact, with long nights, dark gloomy days, and freezing weather that keeps us indoors, it isn’t hard to believe that some of us may feel sad and/or stir-crazy.
Aside from going on a little break to the Bahamas?
These articles on the Strength for Caring Website may help:
Light up your life and your home with music:
Maintain your brain with memory games:
Make shared time with loved ones more fun:
Many people are very generous during the holidays. Between vacations, travel to see friends or family, gifts for kids, parents, siblings, neighbors, newspaper delivery person, those in need, etc., it adds up. Credit card statements can be scary to open.
Some ideas that may lessen the pain a bit:
Put together care plans and financial plans for you and your loved ones:
Save money and learn about budgeting:
Time since the Holidays
During the holiday season, even if we feel overworked and overstressed, we are doing so much that we often simply…forget. Or at least put the stress out of our minds temporarily.
We often find ourselves having to bake pies, wrap gifts, buy gifts, arrange travel plans, get the kids cleaned up and ready to present themselves in public, visit Mom or Dad…or spend a few hours getting Mom or Dad cleaned up and ready for the public. And let’s not mention the house, the dishes, the post office lines, the grocery store, thanking people, providing for others…waiting in lines only to realize as we get in the car that we forgot the very thing for which we went to the store.
Often, there is fun…perhaps there are parties, conversations, good food. Everything is decorated and beautiful, and people are generally in good spirits. We might dress up, go to the neighbors for dinner, or have them come over. We might go to religious services and see friends and family.
Then there is work. I’m convinced that every single December is the time that companies decide to make everything due. And everyone is always on vacation except you. So you work late nights and then stay up late with everything to do. I once fell asleep with tape from present-wrapping all over my body. Has something similar happened to you? Life is a whirlwind during the holiday season. It starts before Thanksgiving and roars forth, picking up momentum as the New Year approaches.
And then January 2 rolls around. The parties stop. The “things to do” stop. Life goes back to normal, and reality sets in. All the little spats with your siblings during the holidays (that you could ignore at the time) may have turned into full-blown arguments. And the exhaustion from doing too much on top of everything you usually do may have left your family, or partner, feeling a bit neglected. Kids might have behaved while they were getting presents, but come January it often seems they forget the holiday spirit.
Never mind the fact that YOU may have ignored YOU.
Repair family frictions:
Do a little repair damage with the spouse/partner and kids:
Take some time for you:
Time Since Failed Quit Attempt
I made quite a few resolutions for New Years…and most of those have long since been abandoned (and it’s only January 22nd!). It turns out I’m not the only one. We often have great goals and aspirations, but sometimes when we try to do too much, or change too many things, it becomes overwhelming and we give up. They key might be to start small, and to congratulate ourselves for all the “regular” things we do so well each day.
Nike was right: Just do it! Start small with an exercise program to help improve your overall health and attitude, help you sleep, and help you digest better (be sure to check with your healthcare provider first):
Make healthy choices starting today:
Stop making self-destructive choices:
Laugh, because it will help you enjoy each moment and not worry so much about failed attempts:
General Motivational Levels
With all of the above factors combined, is it any wonder that we may feel a lack of motivation? One of the best ways to motivate yourself is to make sure you are getting enough sleep, making healthy choices, and reducing stress. Easier said than done, but when you start with a clean slate, you can accomplish much more.
Try to get some sleep:
Try to reduce stress:
Set limits and ask for help from others:
The Need to Take Action
Just by reading this article, you’ve started to take action. You can decide when your New Year starts. It can be today. Ask for help from others, maintain your relationships, take time for you, and take care of your body. Big changes in your life won’t be made overnight, but rather, over time.
So, allow yourself that time. Take small steps to make incremental changes in your life. Congratulations! And…Happy New Year!