We are approaching the happiest day of the year

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

If you are reading this, congratulations!

You have [almost] made it through the most depressing week of the year. And you’ve already skated through the most depressing day of the year, which was Monday.

Some psychologists agree that there is a formula based on the weather and calendar that point to the bluest part of the winter blues falling on the third week in January.

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Other scientists feel the calculation is just plain hooey.

According to the Blue Monday theory, weather plus an undefined unit; minus debt; multiplied by the time since Christmas and failing new year’s resolutions; divided by low motivation and the need to take actions = the third week in January.

While all of that makes my eyes cross with doubt, there is obviously some sort of truth to Blue Monday. Well, at least Blue Middle of January. Let’s face it. The weather isn’t great. We don’t have any holidays to look forward to. The jolliness of Christmas is gone and the anticipation of a fresh start in the new year is over. It’s ok to feel a little blah about the whole thing.

But, just because Blue Monday is disputed doesn’t mean the Winter Blues aren’t real.

Here are some things to keep in mind. Dottie Black with Troy Regional Medical Center’s Sleep Disorder Clinic shared these tips at a Female Factor luncheon last year.

Black said to watch out for a downturn of mood, less energy, fatigue, boredom, weight gain, sleeping too much and less interest in being around people.

Your mood is partially influenced by sunlight, melatonin, serotonin and vitamin D, Black said.

What does that mean?

Let there be light! Black suggests a 10-minute walk outside. If you absolutely can’t make it out, find a sunny window.

Another way to fight the blues is through diet. Black said to eat healthy, fresh vegetables and avoid sugar.

Above all, don’t feel as you are the only one feeling a little bit down this winter. It’s important to talk about it and even ask for help. Ten to 20 percent of Americans suffer from mild symptoms associated with the winter blues and seasonal affective disorder affects up to five percent of the population.

All that said, there is still a group of folks who believe it will be Jan. 21 that will be the most depressing day of the year since it is the third Monday in January and not just the third week of the month. But, let’s be optimists and decide we are already on the trail back to the happiest day of the year, which subscribers to the Blue Monday theory believe will fall in mid-June.