If you’re reading this, congratulations: you’ve officially survived ‘Blue Monday’ – now forever enshrined in modern folklore as “the most depressing day of the year”.
The third Monday of January has come to epitomise all that is crappy about this particular month in general: it’s cold. It’s dark. It’s sh*t. January creeps up like a thief in the night to snatch away your Christmas cheer, and replace it with the drudgery of the nine-to-five and the dread of opening your credit card bill. Plus, after a grand total of 21 days this year, most of our resolutions will already have been consigned to the dustbin of history (don’t get too comfy, Cupid – I’m still watching you).
It’s all a load of codswallop, of course – although it’s arguably one of the most successful and enduring PR campaigns of recent times.
The whole thing was dreamt up in 2005 by Sky Travel’s marketing team with the help of psychologist and life coach Dr Phil Arnall. Presumably in a thinly veiled attempt to make people feel so dreadful about their lives they had to book their summer holidays through the service in order to feel happy again.
The concept was first floated in a press release – Mr. Arnall even came up with an incredibly complicated-looking “scientific formula” (which has since been completely debunked) to calculate the exact day:
W stands for weather, D for debt, d for monthly salary, T for time since Christmas, Q for the amount of time since you failed a New Year’s resolution, M for low motivational levels, and NA for the need to take action.
Apparently, it was the last part of that equation – NA for the need to take action – that was intended as the focus of the message, not all the bleak stuff. In 2018, Mr. Arnall pretty much apologised for coining the term, and making January even more miserable than it already was. He’d hoped that pinpointing a date would “encourage people, where possible, to take a positive outlook on the time of year as an opportunity for new beginnings and change”. But the negative connotations stuck – and companies have been using ‘Blue Monday’ as a promotional hook to peddle their wares ever since.
Right now, you can go and bag yourself a free McDonald’s cheeseburger to lift your spirits on the “saddest day of the year” (the offer actually runs until Friday. You’re welcome).
Well, I for one refuse to be drawn into the ridiculous nonsense of discounts and “depression” affiliated with this stupid con, and have decided to focus my energies on something far more constructive: finishing my vision board. Rather than wallowing in a sea of broken resolutions and asthma-inducing bank statements, I’ve chosen to surround myself with paper and glue and infinite possibilities (and wine… and bad, bad snacks) to counter this day of doom and gloom with a night filled with positivity and aspirations.
The Sonos is on, the “fire” is “roaring” (ha – who knew water vapour and light bulbs could be so convincing?!) and the snacks are on standby…
Let the Pritt Stick-ing commence!
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