I publish a variation of this article every year on January 24 because it seems to make people feel better.
The Axis of Evil
According to Dr. Cliff Arnalls, a British psychologist with Cardiff University, a number of factors coincide to make January 24th the most depressing day of the year:
- It’s dark. Not as dark as December 21st, the shortest day of the year, but dark enough to make our heads and bodies crave sunlight.
- Christmas bills come due around this time, and – especially in this economy – that’s a harsh blow.
- The minority of individuals who have kept their New Year’s resolutions begin to falter.
This axis of evil makes January 24th score lowest on the national mood barometer. In a twisted sort of way, that means I will feel good on January 24. Because I’m SUPPOSED to feel bad, which will create less pressure for me to feel happy, like say on the first warm spring day.
January 24 Depression Busters
I don’t expect any activity to entirely protect me from the blahs of January 24, but here’s what I’m doing today and this week:
- Going to therapy
- Calling friends
- Connecting with folks on Facebook
- Reading inspirational books
- Listening to good music
- Eating dark chocolate
- Taking breaks
- Slashing my to-do list in half.
Dance in the Darkness
I think the best advice for enduring January 24, and living with depression, in general, comes from Vivian Green. She said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to be over. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
I’ll add darkness to the rain.
There’s also peace in knowing IT DOES PASS. THE SUN WILL SOON SHINE AGAIN.In fact, every day going forward we get to enjoy more sunlight.
That’s my January 24 advice: Make your own list of depression busters, know the blahs are not permanent, and learn to dance in the darkness.