Today Is Blue Monday & It's Apparently The Gloomiest Day Of The Whole Year

There are a few reasons you may be feeling extra blue today.

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Today Is Blue Monday & It's Apparently The Gloomiest Day Of The Whole Year

If you've woken up feeling a little gloomy this morning, you're not alone. So-called "Blue Monday" has arrived and it's been dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

It falls on the third Monday of January each year and is supposedly the day that Canadians feel at their collective lowest.

This year, unhappiness peaks on January 17 and there are a number of reasons that explain why you may be feeling a little worse than usual.

In their Blue Monday Survival Guide, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) says factors like long, cold nights, broken New Year's resolutions and post-holiday bills are to blame, in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Most of us are the furthest away we can be from the next thing to look forward to. Those warm and fuzzy memories of the holidays – gone," they explained.

However, it's not all bad news. According to CAMH, there is no genuine scientific basis for Blue Monday.

"It actually came about as a marketing gimmick by a travel company a decade ago. But the reason it has caught on in the public imagination, especially in Canada, is that it rings true."

Gimmick or not, this time of year can be difficult on the mental health front and CAMH psychologist Dr. Donna Ferguson says the day can actually "become a self-fulfilling prophesy."

One of the best ways to cope, according to psychologist Dr. Katy Kamkar, is to take inventory of your habits and see what small changes could be made.

She advises "daily meaningful activities like getting proper sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active [and] setting up a budget to manage your spending habits."

Prairie Mountain Health says that although Blue Monday is not scientifically proven, "the day brings awareness to such mental health issues as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression."

"No matter what Blue Monday means to you, remember that someone you encounter could be having a hard time of things," it says. "Don’t hesitate to reach out to them, send a message to tell someone you’re thinking of them, or do a small act of kindness."

Canada has a number of free mental health resources available to those who may be struggling right now. This includes Wellness Together Canada, Kids Help Phone, Crisis Services Canada and more. More information can be found here.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or mental health concerns, please reach out to a trusted peer, parent or health care professional. You can also contact the Crisis Services Canada helpline, which is available 24 hours a day to talk or consult additional resources. If you need immediate assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital. Support is available.

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