I think the official saddest day of the year was last Monday, but I thought it was the 4th Monday of January. (hence... why this post is up now... ha!) But why in the world would the saddest day of the year be on MLK Day? It's not a very nice way to honor Dr. King AND most people are off work that day... so what's depressing about a day off?
Anyway... The first saddest day of the year was announced back in 2005 when a researcher at Cardiff University figured out a method to the sadness. According to Dr. Cliff Arnall it's the Monday in January with a perfect combination of depressing factors.
Here's the list according to the article:
- Weather conditions (Gloomy January with its cold weather & lack of sunshine)
- Debt level and our ability to pay that debt
- Time elapsed since Christmas
- Time elapsed since failing New Years resolutions
- Low motivational levels
- Our need to take action (better ourselves, resolutions... then disappointment about failing or not seeing changes)
- Step out of your comfort zone: If you normally keep it casual for work, dress up a bit. Wear a bold lip color. Introduce yourself to that group of moms at the park that you have always wanted to talk to. Switch things up and you will be surprised how fast it can boost your mood!
- Send someone snail mail: If you have been thinking about someone... a friend, family member, or neighbor.. send them a little hand-written note. It will make you feel better & brighten their day at the same time!
- Exercise: Bring on those mood-boosting endorphins! Even a quick walk around the block or 10 minute YouTube workout will help!
- Take some time for yourself: Try to carve out a bit of time to do something you enjoy. Read a book, get a pedicure, or head to Target by yourself. (can you tell how I enjoy time for myself? ha!)
- Do something nice for someone else: Buy a co-worker coffee when picking up your own. Bring flowers to a retirement home. (Ask employees to bring them to whoever they think needs them the most that day) Give out a few compliments. Brightening other people's day will make you happier as well!
- Put your phone away for a few hours: It can bee very 'freeing' to get rid of your phone, even if it is just for a short time. You may focus on your family more or get that project done that you have been putting off.
- Call a good friend: Girlfriends make us happy, so give your bestie a call. If you can meet up with them... even better! I am always in a better mood after I speak to my friends.
- Listen to your favorite music: Put on your favorite music and dance around. If I have had a stressful morning, I just put my favorite Pandora channel on (which may or may not be Britney Spears radio) and sing my way to work. Instant happiness.
- Watch or read something funny: Pop in your favorite comedy or funny TV show, or hop on YouTube there is tons of funny stuff on there. I am guaranteed a laugh when I read texts gone wrong or watch news bloopers on YouTube.
- Be Thankful: I am one of those people that believes happiness is a choice. There will always be circumstances beyond our control and things we cannot change. But I do think that taking a few moments each day to focus on the GOOD things in your life can make a big difference. Right now... this very second... think of 5 things you have to be thankful for today. It can be the basics: you are alive, you have shelter, your children are safe. Or it can be mundane: your nails look nice or you made it to the gym today. Just think of 5 things (10 is even better) that are GOOD in your life right now. Boom. Happy. Now do that every single day... write down the 10 things.. that is even better... and finding your happy place will be easier than ever.