EDMONTON -- Jan. 18 is Blue Monday. The third Monday in January is considered by many to be the saddest day of the year.

Cold weather, fewer daylight hours, and post-holiday blues are all factors that contribute to feelings of sadness at this time of year. The COVID-19 pandemic is also keeping many from going out, or even interacting with friends and family.

CTV News Edmonton spoke to a psychotherapist who said you can avoid the blues by treating yourself to something you enjoy.

“You want to engage in an activity, whether it’s something like yoga, meditation, or getting together with family in your own environment,” said Erin Vinkle.

“Setting small goals to be achieved, whether it’s to make your favourite recipe or something, just to really engage in some kind of activity and socialization.”

She also says that humans are social creatures, and it’s important that we find ways to communicate with others during the pandemic.

“It’s important that we follow those guidelines and rules, but at the same time we’re social creatures, we need to socialize, whether it be Zoom, telephone calls, connecting whether you’re out walking and you’re a far enough distance away, that you really make the effort to socialize in some way.

Vinkle says one thing that should improve our fortunes this Blue Monday is the fact Monday’s forecast calls for more unseasonably mild weather.