This article originally appeared last year.
“It’s the most de-pressing day of the yeeeeaaarrrr!” The holiday season’s glow has dimmed, the credit card bills are rolling in, it’s cold and it’s a Monday. Dry your teary eyes and look here!
Feeling particularly depressed today?
There’s a reason behind that. Today is Blue Monday.
Typically the third Monday of January, the day was named by Dr. Cliff Arnall in 2005, who set out to determine the saddest day on the calendar. Dr. Arnall, then a professor at the University of Cardiff, devised an amusing formula, based on contributors like weather, days until Christmas, personal finances and motivation.
Last week ended on Friday the 13th. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now Dr. Arnall says this Blue Monday will be particularly gloomy. He cites Brexit (The UK’s departure from the European Union), Donald Trump (who will be inaugurated later this week) and the recent deaths of well-loved celebrities Carrie Fisher and George Michael (plus others in the annus horriblis of 2016.) These political situations may cause fear and uncertainty about the future, while the deaths may lead us to think of mortality as well as mourn the talents of these beloved figures.
Luckily, we at Flight Centre are in the smile business. (No, not dentistry.) We like to make our clients happy. So in honour of Blue Monday, we’ve gathered some travel stories for you to motivate and inspire you. If you’re among the many of us who can’t afford a vacation due to Christmas credit card debt, live vicariously through our travel blog, until you can!
Get your Vitamin D.
During the sunlight-deprived winter months, many people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Light therapy is often used to treat this, so it goes without saying, sunlight is good for our mental health. Otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D is thought to assist the brain’s neurotransmitters that boost our mood. Our Flightie, Crissandra Ayroso, teaches us about sunny Costa Rica, one of the happiest countries on the planet.
Curious to know which country is the happiest? Flight Centre’s Daniel Nikulin tells us here.
While scientists aren’t exactly sure why certain vitamins play a role in happiness, one thing is for certain: physical activity increases feelings of well-being. If the only exercise you’re getting is from your mind running in circles over gloomy politics and gauged paycheques, perhaps you should consider booking an adventure tour. Here’s a good blog that might get you motivated.
It’s tempting to stay cozy at home this time of year, cocooned from the cold, but isolation can lead to depression. Staying social (in person, not social media that is) gets us out of the house and helps battle the blues. We’re not saying go out and do shots of tequila at the local bar, but make an effort to see friends. Meet up with your bestie for a coffee and make travel plans, even if they seem far off in the future, having a special trip to look forward to keeps your chin up. For tips for travelling with your bestie, check out this entertaining video.
Oh, and did the mention of tequila pique your interest? Here’s some sunny reading that illuminates a lesser-travelled part of Mexico. Mescal, anyone?
Since Blue Monday was based on lighthearted research, we kept our suggestions playful as well. If you are feeling depressed for more than two weeks, it’s best to seek medical attention.