According to my Modern Toss calendar it isn't supposed to be Blue Monday for another 7 days, but as the internet appears to refute this, I am prepared to forgive my calendar's inaccuracy and blog about the dreaded "Azure Lundi".
To be honest I think I had heard of Blue Monday in the past, but it has never really captured my attention all that much. I’m sure there is very interesting statistical analysis which holds some insight into how we operate as human beings. That is the sort of thing I find interesting, but my fear is that in this fast-paced existence of Western culture, many will fleetingly read or hear that today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year and that is all.
It can be hard to get a thought like that out of your head. Not only would many people just accept that this one day, out of three hundred and sixty five is the worst of them all, but you can then leave yourself open to negative thoughts which are always just behind the curtain, itching to stride out onto the stage and begin a lengthy monologue.
How about a different approach?! Here is my advice on how to beat Blue Monday:
1. Google "Miniature Schnauzer Puppy".
What, that's not enough? Still feeling blue? OK then...
2. Watch the movie Seven Years in Tibet.
Not only does it star Brad Pitt, it also features my favourite saying on the theme of "worrying"...
3. Take stock.
In Terry Pratchett's excellent novel Hogfather, the character of Death makes some extremely insightful points to his granddaughter Susan. Before you start to worry about how Death can have a granddaughter, read this...
I cannot begin to describe how much I love this thought. So even if you are struggling to find something which inspires you, just think about that sentence. That alone should be enough.
4. Eat some Sushi.
Not a big fan of raw fish? Try it anyway. Live a little.
5. Give someone a hug.
Preferably not a stranger - this isn't California and I don't want to catch any flack because you ambushed an old man at a bus stop in an attempt to stave off the blues. Opt for a relative or friend just to be safe, and don't just give them the old "pat, pat" - hold it for a good 30 seconds. Apparently it reduces the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate. This makes sense, since hugging is known to lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. So there.
There you have it. Follow these 5 steps and in no time your life will be completely back on track. Alternatively, just treat today like it should be treated, as an opportunity to learn something, laugh a lot and spread some love.