Friday: Blue Monday?


  Game Day Friday Strikes Again!

By Pamela Iken

            So I was just about to share more awesome games with you this week until Haley walks into my office and tells me that this past Monday, January 26, was the most depressing day of the year. Seriously? Is that true? If so, why? Is it because the newness of our Christmas toys has worn off? Or because we are so in debt from Christmas, and yet we didn’t receive a raise this year? Is it because we’re tired of the cold weather? I googled “Blue Monday” (the term actually given to the most depressing day of the year, which is always a Monday in January). Turns out, researchers have a mathematical formula for figuring out which day of the year will be the most depressing. There are six distinct factors that work into their equation:

-Weather conditions (Gloomy old January and its typical lack of sunshine)sad stuffed bunny

-Debt level and our ability to pay that debt

-Time elapsed since Christmas

-Time elapsed since failing our New Year’s resolutions

-Our general seasonal motivational levels

-Our need to take action and to have something to look forward to. During January and depending on where you reside there are no statutory holidays in the near fore-see-able future.

(The above is according to Dr. Cliff Arnall a researcher at Cardiff University.)

Okay, I feel down just reading the above information.


ENOUGH ALREADY! Here are some quick ways to perk up your attitude during this depressing week:

  • Challenge your family each morning to be on the look-out for something good that happens that day. At dinnertime or before bed, have everyone share their day’s brightness.

(If someone is refusing to see any light in their day, make them laugh with something like, “Oh, so the best part of your day was putting on your deodorant this morning?”). There are always positive moments and events in each day; we just have to look for them.

  • Read a cartoon or two together. Cut out an especially funny cartoon from upset Gumbythe newspaper and leave it on the kitchen table or frig.
  • Start laughing for no reason. I realize it will be a fake laugh at first. But fake laughter always ends up in a real laugh, and one person’s laughter is always contagious, even when they don’t know what you’re laughing about (if anything).
  • Watch a great comedy together. TV or movie–pick your favorite and laugh together over it. I personally love Three’s Company re-runs and the Phineas and Ferb shows. In the movie realm, Adam Sandler movies always crack me up, as do Melissa McCarthy flicks. (Warning—some of these movies and tv shows can step over the line. Be wise about what you let your children watch).
  • Put on some upbeat music and play it loud! My husband says I’m stuck in the 80’s (which is true), but you gotta admit, 80’s music helps you feel cheerful! If it’s not 80’s music, put on some other fun music that you enjoy. And hey, why not have a dance party while you’re at it? No moves are wrong, so don’t hold back.
  • Open the blinds. Get some light in your home. Whether it’s a bright, sunny day or a snowy day, look outside sometimes. It helps bring perspective to your thinking to realize there’s an entire world out there.
  • Read a great book. If you have little kids, read a book together daily. Pick a light, happy story and discuss it afterwards.
  • Call a friend. Just catch up, chat, share life.
  •  Get outside, regardless of the weather. Find beautiful things in the world.
  • PLAY A GAME! You knew I’d have to get this one in! Gather the family or friends and play your favorite game. If you need ideas of great games to play, read all of my previous blogs! That’s what I’m here for!
  • This one I added just for Haley. She says, to cheer yourself up, “TOUCH A PUPPY!” Gotta love ya, Haley!

Don’t believe the researchers—have a bright, cheerful week!Happy Day graphic






  1. Grandma

    And in my family (which is also yours), celebrate a birthday (and if it is not your birthday- celebrate an un-birthday)!

Leave a Reply