Blue Monday

Blue Monday

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January – it’s classed as the most miserable day of the year.

Experts have classified it as officially the most depressing day of the year. People, who no doubt have an ‘ology’, have crunched the data, made calculations, and studied statistics. In 2005 Dr Cliff Arnall arrived at this conclusion.

Blue Monday 2019 is Monday 21 January

The weather is most gloomy and cold. Debts are higher than at any other time of the year especially after Christmas. After the excitement of the festive season we’re all back down on earth.

Our New Year’s Resolutions have gone out of the window to be replaced with realization that we’ll never be thin or rich. We’ve not got any enthusiasm or motivation. If we were squirrels or hedgehogs we’d sleep the rest of the winter away until Spring!

Blue Monday isn’t so bad at the seaside

However, despite the dull months of mid winter, we don’t think that it’s so bad at the seaside.

For those of us lucky enough to live on the fabulous Fylde Coast, winter seems to be that bit more bearable than it is inland.

Sunset at Cleveleys on 7 January 2018. Blue Monday isn't so bad!
Sunset at Cleveleys on 7 January 2018

The nights are brighter and already a little bit lighter, because we are on the west of the country where the sun sets. Plus, it’s a lot flatter here than in many parts, which makes the sky seem brighter.

We can go to the promenade, or if you’re brave enough the waters edge. Enjoy the fantastic winter sunsets and the brightness of each day!

Even out of season there are plenty of things to do, from Fleetwood to Blackpool, Cleveleys to St Annes. The winter seaside is every bit as charming as it is in summer – in a different way.

Our first tip to avoid the winter blues is to wrap up warm, head outside and have a good brisk walk. If you do live here be grateful that you can get to the beach so easily, because a lot of people wish they could!

Pull on your wellies and go for a walk on the seafront or beach. Enjoy a spot of beachcombing and you never know what you might find.

SADs

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SADs as it’s appropriately known, is a condition where sufferers are affected by low light levels in winter. Their brains don’t make enough of certain chemicals brains (serotonin in particular) because of the lack of natural daylight. The result is depression.

Using a daylight bulb is usually recommended. As is getting outside each day, to make sure that daylight reaches the back of your eye.

Looking on the bright side, by Blue Monday, almost a month beyond the shortest day, we can already see that the evenings are that little bit lighter.

Take a close look outside, snow drops are coming up and getting ready to say hello.

"Snowdrops

If you’re feeling really miserable here’s a bit of positive thinking to cheer you up…

Will you ever be thin?

Maybe not. Your lifestyle, genetics, and many factors will always play a part in whether or not you’ll look like the latest supermodel. But your every day actions will always play a part in whether or not you look roly-poly!

If you’ve lost your New Year’s Resolutions never mind – you were probably being too harsh on yourself anyway. Why don’t you start again, and this time just use some good old fashioned common sense instead.

Eat three meals a day and don’t skip breakfast. Avoid fatty and excessively sugary food where you can and pick healthier choices. Try not to nibble between meals. If you’ve got a sweet tooth allow yourself a couple of sweets after a meal. Clean your teeth after meals to reduce the urge to snack (or chew gum). If you are used to big portions start to slowly reduce the size of them. Use a smaller plate. Walk a little bit more.

Do a variety of things to reduce the calories that you take in, and a bit more exercise to burn some more off. Slowly reduce what you eat and increase what you do. Don’t make yourself miserable and make small but increasing lifestyle changes that you can maintain.

I bet you feel more positive now about losing weight ready for the skimpy clothes of spring!

Will you ever be rich?

Take a look around your home. Do you spend a lot of money and have to buy what you see? Yes? In that case you’ll never be rich.

It makes sense to have a nest egg to tide you through a few months if the worst happens and you lose your job. In these uncertain times, no one knows whether they will be out of work so it makes sense to save some money while you can.

Think about what you spend in the pub, on cakes, a hairdo, in Primark – whatever your weak spot is. Then set up a standing order for that amount of money to be paid into a savings account each month. If you pay £50 for your hair doing, that’s one extra hair-do which you wouldn’t think twice about having if you were going somewhere special. Over a year £50 a month is £600. In ten years it’s £6000. You never know, you might even get some interest!

Look after the pennies

There’s another article here called ‘Look after the pennies’ about how I save money each week without even knowing that I’ve done it. I have what used to be called ‘housekeeping’ to pay for food and household expenses. You can save a nice little cash nest egg through the year this way. Why don’t you give it a go?

Saving money is a bit like losing weight. If you do it by making small changes to what you spend and what you save you can reach your target and achieve something. If you go at it like a bull at a gate you’ll make yourself even more miserable and get nowhere!

Final thought for Blue Monday. Are you’re spending more than you’ve got coming in, and buying more than you can afford? Then do something about it straight away.

I hope that saving money doesn’t seem as helpless as it did, with some ways of putting a few pounds on one side.

Things to look forward to

I don’t know what will happen in your house this year, or in your life. I’ve certainly had my fair share of personal traumas (as we all have). I’ve had lots of times when I really ‘wished I could be somewhere else’, as yet another song lyric goes.

Keep hold of the thought that someone, somewhere, will always have it worse than you. Every morning where you get out of bed and you are alive is a bonus. There will always be something in the day that you can take pleasure from. It might be a bird singing outside your window, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or just a nice cup of tea and a biscuit. There WILL be something if you look for it.

Holidays are coming…

On a more general note, it’s only a few weeks to February half term. Our fabulous Fylde Coast will start to waken up and stretch, and the first of the holiday makers will start to come back. Blue Monday will feel like a distant dream!

Keep an eye on the Events Calendar for things to join in with in your own community, plus larger events and entertainment on our doorstep.

Where else in the country is there such a tradition of community festivals and galas? Where else are there outdoor concerts for free like there are at Stanley Park and Tower Festival Headland. The year is stretching out in front of us – waiting to be enjoyed!

Sandcastle on Cleveleys beach - go and build one on Blue Monday!
Sandcastle on Cleveleys beach

The beaches are all still there. The sandcastles are waiting to be built, the donkeys waiting to be ridden, the promenade is waiting to be pounded.

Is Blue Monday really that bad?

Not really. It’s a good time of year. A time for reflection on the past year. To treasure the good times, forget the bad and to look forward to the year ahead.

‘Blue Monday’ is also one of my favourite songs

If you’re a child of the 80’s you’re probably singing the same song as me as you read this.

…guaranteed to give me a buzz when played at full blast in the car, loud enough to make my eardrums hurt. (Just as New Order probably intended when they released it in 1984).

If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about have a listen… (turn it up!)

Blue Monday by New Order

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