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Feeling down? Blue Monday thought to be most depressing day of the year
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Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 4:03PM MST
Monday marks what has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year.
Between the cold weather, failed New Year’s resolutions and credit card bills from the holidays rolling in, the third Monday in January is often considered to be a ‘Blue Monday.’
The term was coined by a British psychologist, who claimed to have devised a formula that suggests more people are likely to feel more down on this day, than at any other time of the year, due to factors such as broken New Year’s resolutions and dismal weather.
“It’s dark outside when you go out in the morning and when you come back it’s still dark,” said Dr. Arya Sharma, Chair of Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta.
Although Sharma says he’s never seen actual evidence to support the claim that Blue Monday is the most depressing of the year, the doctor says seasonal affective disorder does play a role in people’s attitudes at this time.
“It’s not a good time,” Sharma said.
He offers up a few tips to help brighten your mood – and ensure you don’t gain weight while you’re at it.
“Sleep is important. Getting enough sleep is good for mood, it’s good for your metabolism and in fact we now know that people who get more sleep tend to have less weight,” Sharma said.
“Watching your calories, that’s important. All kinds of calories can contribute to weight gain… eating too much, not getting enough sleep increases hunger, depression increases hunger.”
Meanwhile a local radio station chose to battle the blues by putting on a day of events to help cheer Edmontonians up.
“We got a hot tub set up today, a cotton candy machine, free manicures, massages, we had coffee and donuts this morning, we had a pizza lunch,” said 102.3 NOW Radio midday announcer Adam McKale.
McKale said ‘The Greatest Day Ever’ event also included free money giveaways.
“It’s around that time when the Christmas bills roll in and chances are you’ve broken your New Year’s resolution by this point so we want to give people some money to make them feel better,” he said.
“A lot of people have been texting and calling and saying thank you for breaking up the monotony that is January. It’s a depressing month.”
But whether or not this Monday is actually the saddest day of the year?
Experts don’t believe the theory holds true, and says the formula doesn’t make sense.
“I think it is lacking in scientific credibility. It’s very difficult to understand how that sort of formula would work in predicting a date when people were saddest,” said Scott Patten, professor in Community Health Sciences and Psychiatry at the University of Calgary.
“I also can’t seem to find much evidence that this has ever been validated. It is one ting to produce a theoretical construct but it’s another thing to demonstrate that the formula actually has some predictive value.”
Real or not, people like Julie Kereliuk, who took part in NOW Radio’s events – including warming up in a hot tub, was just happy for a chance to beat the Monday blues.
“I have the day off, I’m sitting in a hot tub, drink in hand, nothing could be better,” Kereliuk said.
A local radio station battled the Monday blues by holding a number of different events for Edmontonians - including giving out free manicures and massages.
Dr. Arya Sharma says there is no evidence to support the claim that Blue Monday is the most depressing of the year, but says seasonal affective disorder does play a role in people's attitudes at this time.
The term Blue Monday was coined by a British psychologist, who claimed to have devised a formula that suggests more people are likely to feel the most depressed on the third Monday in January, due to factors such as broken New Year’s resolutions and dismal weather.