It doesn’t take an expert to know that everyday in January and especially Mondays are not very enjoyable. If you look out our window today it’s raining more that usual (even by Galway standards) and it’s freezing, we haven’t turned off the heat all day. I mentioned to my colleagues today that I was going to write a blog post about Blue Monday and we just so all happened to be wearing different shades of blue, we are the opposite of Mean Girls “on Mondays we wear blue”.
What is Blue Monday?
Today is Blue Monday! as it’s the third Monday in January. If you have been on social media or picked up a tabloid newspaper today the chances are you already know about it as you will likely have been bombarded with click bate posts or articles about it, In case you don’t know, it is claimed that it is deemed by scientists to be the most depressing day of the entire year.
Is the Clickbate correct?
The concept of a “Blue Monday” took root in 2005. In that year, a press release detailed a purported formula that calculated factors including weather, debt, time elapsed since Christmas, and unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions. When those factors were combined and the “sadness” algorithm applied to them, 24 January 2005 was identified as the single most depressing of the year.
Almost immediately the claim was regarded by many as a shaky one because the cited factors were clearly vague and nearly impossible to quantify, and because of the dubious impetus behind the “formula.”
The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends. It seems that people are most likely to buy a ticket to paradise when they feel like hell. If that sounded a bit like a paid placement by a public relations firm working on behalf of a travel company to increase vacation sales, it’s because the “research” was exactly that.
No studies or evidence have proved any one calendar date is more gloomy than any others, and the formula linked with the calculation of such a date has no real scientific basis.
Can the Blue Monday concept be used to increase workplace satisfaction?
We think so! Although the annual Blue Monday campaigns have given it much more weight than it deserves, and depression doesn’t work this way, it could be used as an conversation starter to discuss mental health and well-being with employees, as often in Ireland these topics carry stigma.