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CHRISTMAS is over, lockdown drags on, and you may have put on a few pounds - yes, it's Blue Monday.

All of these factors combined are a perfect storm for the day believed to be the most depressing of the year.

When is Blue Monday 2021?

The purported day of gloom is Monday, January 18.

The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, but can also be on the second or fourth Monday, or even the Monday of the last week of January.

The first one was January 24 in 2005.

It came about after Dr Cliff Arnall was asked to work out the most depressing day of the year.

What is Blue Monday?

It is calculated using a series of factors in a (not particularly scientific) mathematical formula.

The factors are: the weather, debt level (specifically, the difference between debt and our ability to pay), the amount of time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.

Blue Monday was originally conceived by a PR company but has now become an annual event.

What can you do about Blue Monday?

Exercise, starting an activity you've wanted to do for ages and enjoying time with loved ones all help to banish the winter blues.

Personal trainer Andy Ward advises that exercise is a great tonic to feeling down, and it's best to avoid binge-eating and shunning your mates.

He said: "Squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise, it could be a fast walk, a light jog, a relaxing swim, or an intense HIIT class - just move for thirty minutes to feel the benefits.

“There are dozens of different fitness classes available. January is a great time to take up new hobbies.”

If you don't feel like getting active on the day itself you may want to book something to take your mind off it, even if it's something as simple as enjoying a home movie night.

However, if you are struggling with feelings of depression over a long period you should speak to your doctor, or a trusted family member or friend.

Wishing you good mental health today


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