• Nilmari Donate-Melendez, MA

Feeling Sad Today?

Today, January 16, 2017 is “Blue Monday”. In 2005 Dr Cliff Arnall, formerly of Cardiff University, came up with a light-hearted formula for predicting the gloomiest day of the year based on factors including weather, debts, time since Christmas and motivation. Although there has not been a lot of research that supports his findings, studies on everyday mood show that if you ask people how they felt in the past, they often say they felt worse on Mondays.

Although, those who live with depression know that those feelings aren’t dictated by the date, the equation suggests that the third Monday in January – this year on Jan 16 – was when unhappiness peaked as Christmas bills roll in and the post-holiday buzz wears off, to top that, every store you visit reminds you of the “Love” you should be feeling since Valentine’s Day is on its way.

Some predict that this year may be one of the hardest ones. I will not enter into a political discussion, but for many, the imperative change of presidency, the deaths of so many loving stars from our childhood and the credit card bills mounting are a big reason to be sad.

It is normal to be sad, we have all gone through moments when we want to crawl up in the fetal position and cry until we fall asleep, however if you have been feeling sad for more than 2 weeks (6 months if you are grieving), it is time to look for professional help.

“Blue Monday” may be a myth however, believe it or not, the suicide rate peaks not in the cold, sometimes gloomy season of winter, but instead in spring and summer (Yip et al., 2000), today is a great day to talk about depression and how we can get involved.

We know that the majority of those who are suicidal don’t actually want to die, they just want the pain of living to stop. If you are in crisis today, or any other day, please contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255

So, how do you beat “Blue Monday”? Open your curtains and let the light in, turn on the radio, contact a friend, go out for a walk, pet an animal, dance, watch a comedy show, eat healthy, spend less time in front of electronics, limit alcohol and caffeine, practice meditation and mindfulness, take your medication and if needed, contact your therapist.

If you would like to learn more about the signs and symptoms of depression and what to do during a mental health crisis, consider getting trained as a Mental Health First Aider. HKC Parenting and School Consulting Services is offering trainings in Puerto Rico, Orlando and Chicago. Please visit our website www.HKCconsult.com

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