Do you know why «blue monday» is talked about and how it affects older people?

Just as terms such as the black friday or the cyber monday you may have heard of the blue monday which, in literal translation, would be the blue monday but that, in reality, there is little in blue, because it refers to that gray, «sad» Monday, disappointing … that seems to haunt us and wait for Christmas to end to emerge strongly. As in the Cinderella story, the spell is broken and normality, in the form of an overwhelming routine, makes an appearance.

The blue monday is an Anglo-Saxon concept, which does not reveal anything new to us, because it could be assimilated to our January cost of all life, although, it must be recognized that the term is broader, because it does not focus solely on the post-Christmas economic effects.

blue monday

Does that «sad» Monday have any scientific basis?

The blue monday began to be heard in 2005, when the psychologist Cliff arnall (@CliffArnall), collaborating professor of the Cardiff University, established a formula to determine, mathematically, the saddest day of the year taking into account certain factors. It is said that behind all this history what was, in principle, was an advertising campaign aimed at increasing the sale of trips and flights of certain companies and thus overcome the characteristic «stop» in the sector after the most important dates of the Christmas (a trip always lifts your spirits).

There are different opinions, but it is true that this post-party «downturn» usually occurs (not necessarily on a Monday) and psychologists they analyze their possible health consequences. In theory, Blue Monday is the second or third of January. It is clear that there is no scientific basis, but it is interesting to take into account the parameters used by Cliff Arnarll to identify the reasons for this strange sadness.


The blue Monday formula

1 / 8C (Dd) 3/8 xTI MxNA. The formula, correct for some and for the vast majority without any validity, transforms and combines in this equation a series of variables whose existence no one doubts:

  1. The climatological factor (TI). Despite climate change, January and February are still the coldest months of the year in Europe. The days are short and adverse weather phenomena such as rain, low temperatures or «melancholic» fog are frequent. That the weather influences the state of mind is something that has been demonstrated, as the State Meteorological Agency itself recalls (@AEMET_Esp).
  2. The economic situation. In his formula, Arnall introduces two “ds”. The first (D) refers to the debts incurred for extra expenses (travel, meals, gifts …) and the second (d) takes into account the expected revenue at the end of January (salary, pension …) the probable use of credit cards will surely make the balance worrying or not very encouraging.
  3. New Year’s resolutions. They are also included because, after one or two weeks of Christmas, that impulse to do more sports, eat healthier or start new studies loses strength. We begin to not fulfill the purposes and the discomfort, even the feelings of guilt, they appear.

It is clear that determining an official «sad» day does not seem very scientific, but the situations from which the idea starts are absolutely real.

blue monday

In the case of older people, what factors should be added to the equation?

A return to calm or routine (depending on how you look at it) is normal, but in some cases, the weeks after Christmas are especially difficult for older people. They are days of greater contact with the family. Perhaps the grandparents have taken care of the grandchildren during the holidays; Perhaps they have gone to spend the holidays at a child’s house, or simply their own home has been, for a few days, more animated than ever with the visit of many friends and relatives … when Christmas ends on feeling of loneliness may arise. To this must be added that they have enjoyed special meals and the occasional whim and that the healthy exercise routine has been neglected more than is advisable. Both factors can take their toll and cause let’s not feel at our best.

How to overcome the «blue monday»?

Scientific-based or not, when the holidays are over and it’s time to remove the Christmas decorations and take a look at the checking account, sadness or discouragement may appear. So that the threat blue do not go further, some tips that psychologists indicate are:

  • After the «stress», which in many cases involves Christmas, you have your time again. Relaxing and getting enough rest is the first self-help measure to feel good and «laugh» at the dreaded monday.
  • Diet and exercise. They are key to your well-being and the sooner you regain your good habits, the better you will feel.
  • New Year’s resolutions. You have many days to complete them and you must face the challenges that you have set yourself with optimism. Do not demand more of yourself than possible.
  • Maintain your activity and social relationships. Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean you have to stop going out or visiting your friends and family.