Are you feeling a bit “blue” this Monday?
Well, if you believe in pseudoscience, than there’s a reason for it.
According to UK-based psychologist Cliff Arnall the third Monday of the year, which this year coincidentally falls on President Barack Obama's second inauguration, is the “most depressing day of the year.”
Aptly entitled “Blue Monday,” the exact day is derived from a scientific formula that takes into account the factors of weather, debt, time since Christmas, and motivational levels.
Using this formula, Arnall was able to find that the gloomiest day this year falls on Jan. 21.
"It is the combination of factors that make life right now particularly uncertain,” Arnall said recently in an interview with BBC Good Morning Scotland.
“There is threat of job redundancy and the cost of food and fuel are going up.”
The “Blue Monday” concept was first developed in 2005 as part of a press release for Sky Travel, a now-defunct British TV travel channel.
While many in the scientific community dispute the formula Arnall used to determine the “most depressing day of the year,” calling it pseudopsychology, the idea of “Blue Monday” has maintained popularity in the media.
Evelyn Vega, a licensed clinical therapist specializing in panic and depression, may not be familiar with the science behind “Blue Monday” but that doesn’t mean the findings don’t have some validity.
Vega told Fox News Latino that this time of year she “sees a trend of loneliness.”
"After the excitement of making New Year’s resolutions, reality starts kicking in.”
Even though Vega cannot attest that the third Monday of January is indeed the “most depressing day of the year,” the trend she notices among her clients during this time period is undeniable.
Aside from the scientific factors, Arnall also cited the “hibernation” effect that often happens during winter time as people stay inside more and are less active.
So how exactly can we fight the “winter blues?”
Joshua C. Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has three ways to avoid feeling glum.
First Klapow says to make sure to spend some time in the sunlight daily.
“In places around the country with less sunlight, you have people who are prone to depression.”
Second, exercise is key.
“A lot of times for winter blues it has to deal with feeling down and feeling lethargic,” Klapow said.
And when all else fails, although it may sound odd, Klapow says to schedule in “fun” during the week.
“If you’re suffering from the blues," he said. "Sometimes all it takes is a planned effort to have a little fun.”