Blue Monday

Researchers at Cardiff University have determined that Monday 21st January 2013 is Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year!

Group of women hugging

Have a hug!

They calculated this by looking at six factors:

  • Weather conditions (cold and grey) 
  • Debt levels (and our ability to repay that debt) 
  • Time elapsed since the Christmas holidays 
  • Time elapsed since abandoning New Year Resolutions 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Lack of having anything to look forward to in the near future 

I have really noticed since the Christmas holidays were over how subdued people have been in the supermarket and around the town.

But stop worrying now because this year 21 January is also National Hug Day!

I know what you’re thinking, ‘There’s colds and bugs around, why do I want to hug someone?’  Well firstly, having a positive attitude is very good for your immune system.  Secondly, making social connections is essential for boosting your mental health.

And finally giving and receiving hugs causes our body to release the ‘feel good’ hormone oxytocin.  Oxytocin has been credited with numerous body-and-mind benefits, including: giving us healthier hearts; improving our relationships with other people; slowing down the ageing process, and (critically) making us feel happier.

If you’re not ready for that hug yet, you can achieve similar results from giving and receiving smiles and you can do that from a safe distance!

Have a Happy Monday!