'Blue Monday' — the most depressing day in 2013

Today has been branded as "Blue Monday," the most depressing day of 2013. And with temperatures in Metro Detroit feeling like they're 10 to 15 degrees below zero the next two days, this doesn't help.

Why is today known as Blue Monday and who made this determination? Cardiff University formulated that the third Monday in January each year is the most depressing day. Factors include weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our new year's resolutions (which I can already tell by the decreased number of people at my gym compared to the first week of January), low motivation levels, and the need to take action.

For me, I feel like January is a pretty depressing month in general. And my body is showing these signs with the brittle and dry hair (I was literally screaming yesterday while trying to brush the knots out of my hair) and cracked hands.

To battle the blues, Channel 4 gives the top songs to listen to, the top movies to watch and the top books to read. For me, when I get home from work, I'm planning to pop in the movie "Bridesmaids," which is one of the movies on Channel 4's list, or maybe "When Harry Met Sally," and make a mug of hot chocolate with the little marshmellows on top. And a fellow employee here at work also helped us beat the blues by graciously bringing in a box full of donuts.

It is important to remember that the winter blues is different than clinical depression though (although I'm sure winter definitely does not help those already suffering from depression). Feeling a bit glum is completely different than depression, a disease which can be debilitating.

Cognitive therapist Dan Roberts writes in his Huffington Post blog:
"If you want to understand the cause of real depression, it's not a hefty credit card bill, but a triggering of negative beliefs about yourself, your experiences and the future (what Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy, called the "cognitive triad" of depression), often because of a major loss, such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy. Depression is a natural human response to overwhelming stress or upset, when these dormant negative beliefs get triggered and, unless you receive treatment, you may end up spiraling downwards." 

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