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Blue Monday: The Reason Why You Feel Super Bummed in the Month of January

How many of you have ever felt personally victimized by the month of January?


If this semester is already bumming you out worry not, friends—you are not alone.

I kick off every “spring” semester equipped with the same distressing bag of emotions: exhausted, frustrated, dissatisfied, stressed, and straight up down-in-the-dumps.

The holidays are over, the weather is dreary and, worst of all, classes resume and we all have to return to our crappy jobs.

Seriously, if January was a color it would be the same shade of putrid brown-green as the cup of water an art lover uses to clean their paintbrushes.

And if my griping isn’t enough to convince you that January is a soul-sucking harpy, maybe a super neat science equation will do the trick.

According to psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, Blue Monday—the third Monday of every January—is  “the most depressing day of the year.” Spoiler alert: today’s the big day.

Dr. Arnall created a formula to facilitate our understanding of this winter times sadness:

[W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA   OR  [weather + (debt – monthly salary)] * (time since Christmas * failure to attempt to give something up) / (low motivational level * the need to take action).

And while my stats professor would probably scoff at the subjectivity of this equation, I can’t help but feel relieved by its existence. With such a daunting amount of negative factors preying on us, it’s no wonder why we feel blue.

My equation looks a little something like this:

(The air hurts my face + I am super poor) * (Christmas was 3 weeks ago * I cannot leave my bed in the morning) / (I want to do nothing * I need to be doing everything) = my depression has depression.

All sass and Mean Girls quotes aside, the winter months are a challenging time for all of us, but especially for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), major depression, and other forms of mental illness. Many people are fighting battles invisible to our eyes, so please remember to be kind to each other.



P.S. – B’s and C’s get degrees—so don’t wig out.


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