Today is Blue Monday, typically the third Monday of January. In the northern hemisphere, it is considered the most depressing day of the year due to a combination of the weather, long nights (*), the post-Christmas come-down and the long time period until pay day (**).
Certainly, I met with some friends last week and we were all a bit lacklustre, drained by the festivities and getting back into our routines. It seemed odd to be feeling that way when we had just had the well earned break we had been looking forward to before Christmas, to having not much to do and relaxing, and having the opportunity to reflect.
Potentially, our desires to use the new year as a chance to renew or redefine ourselves just adds to the problem. It can be written off as January blues but could be symptomatic of something bigger. There’s advice on how to beat it out there (I love no. 7), but perhaps let’s just keep it in mind to look after ourselves and keep an eye out for others.
This year (really, last year) I took a bit longer off than usual and so getting back into the routine was harder, but I also planned to not have as much on in January to try and catch up on some admin and other bits. I’ve managed to submit to the SfEP for an upgrade of membership, planned a presentation for February on proofreading, got my accounts in order (including the good old tax return), made decisions over the focus of my business, read up on IR35 and managed some “me time” and planned for it in my schedule (spontaneous is not my middle name…). One particular thing I’ve planned for is one working day offline – no emails, no social media, no nothing.
Happy New Year, folks.
(*) although, the nights are now getting shorter, since the winter solstice was 22nd December, it certainly seems darker than when they were getting longer.
(**) so many people are paid at the end of month except in December, when it is mid-month, resulting in a 6-week or so period until January’s pay day. Why not just always pay in the middle of the month?