How to beat the blues on the year’s most depressing day
If the back-to-work blues have you in their grip, brace yourself as the most depressing day of the year is just a a few hours away.
By way of a complex algorithm – which took various factors into account, such as financial debt, failed New Year’s resolutions and low motivational levels – Dr Cliff Arnall, a psychologist from the UK, was able to pinpoint the third Monday in January as the “bluest” day on the calendar.
Mental health portfolio manager for Pharma Dynamics Shouqat Mugjenker says the holidays provide a temporary high, with laughter, lights and music, but once the buzz wears off the reality and monotony of everyday life set in again.
“By the time it hits Monday, the 21st of January, you’re not only cash-strapped, but you may have had to come to terms with failed New Year’s resolutions while beating yourself up over all the money you wasted over Christmas,” Mugjenker said.
To lift the mood, he suggested identifying why you’re feeling so low by completing the “Wheel of Life” (an exercise often used by life coaches to help people pinpoint their unhappiness) and by setting realistic expectations. Don’t procrastinate, identify activities that will reduce stress and try to exercise.
“Stay positive by expressing gratitude for what you have and acknowledging the good things in your life. Being grateful is key to contentment.
“Don’t put a time limit on happiness. We often hear people say they’ll be happy when it’s holidays again or when they have more money, but doing so means wishing away valuable time,” he said.
If you are more keen on a short-term fix to get through the day, a few of Port Elizabeth’s foodies suggested a hearty meal and good dessert.
Kerry-Ann Manton of Gourmet Gecko said her go-to food for “the most depressing day of the year” would be honey-roasted pork fillet with good old roasted garlic potatoes and rosemary Mediterranean vegetables.
“It’s delicious, quick, cheap and healthy.
“For dessert, it would have to be either a lemon posset [made with cream, sugar and lemon juice] or a 64% chocolate mousse.
“And while it is cooking I shall be sitting in the garden with a glass of chilled white wine. It will be hard to feel depressed after that,” she said.
Coffee guru Shaun Aupais said a good cup of Java ought to do the trick...