Thursday, January 26, 2006

The worst day of the year is behind us.

As a person with Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues), I generally keep sliding downhill way past January 23 - in fact, until mid February. (For me, Valentine's Day is usually the worst day of the year.)

This year our tropical January has kept me out in the sun and things are already looking pretty good! I guess global warming has a few advantages...

Extracts from A good day for a bad mood
According to British psychologist, Monday [was] the gloomiest day of the year.
by Shelley Emling, January 23, 2006

A health psychologist at Cardiff University in Wales has devised a formula that combines personal and seasonal factors to calculate the year's emotional low point.

January is a time when people do not have a lot of events, parties or holidays to look forward to.

Many people are struggling to cope not only with bleak weather, but also with the debts they amassed by spending too much over the holidays.

It's also a time when people may be starting to feel like failures because they have broken their New Year's resolutions shortly after making them.

But Arnall said there are ways to beat the late January blues.

Instead of trying to turn over the same old new leaf every New Year's Day, he suggested, resolve to make a change in a different month, such as March or April.

"I also advise people to do the unusual every January," he said. "Go for a walk in the woods or just get out and about."

Arnall said groups of friends or co-workers could throw parties to celebrate the 23rd because being around people you like can boost your spirits.

A Los Angeles-based life transition coach agreed that January is a tough time of the year. She encouraged people to try to exercise, whether or not the weather is bad.

"Exercise releases hormones that give us a sense of well-being, and it should be seen as an antidote to feeling down or blue," she said.

On the bright side, it is only five months until what Arnall figures will be the happiest day of 2006 — June 23.

Formula for a bad day?

1/8W + (D-d)3/8 x TQ / M x NA

The variables are
  • weather (W)
  • debt (D)
  • monthly salary (d)
  • time since Christmas (T)
  • time since failure to quit a bad habit (Q)
  • low motivational levels (M)
  • the need to take action (NA)

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At 3:40 PM, Blogger MLight said...

I'm sure having your wisdom teeth out at this time of year doesn't help!

We found out last year that my teenage daughter has SAD (inherited from me). We've rearranged our schedule so that we take a long, aerobic walk after lunch to get more sunshine (we used to walk later in the afternoon when the sun was already going behind the trees). I'm actually glad that I didn't finish cleaning up the garden last fall because it gives me another reason to be out in the sun on the wonderful warm days we've had lately!


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