"Just Thinkin' About Tomorrow..."
According to Dr. Arnall, by using a formula based on several variables, the Monday closest to January 24th is the bleakest day for people. What are these variables? What is this supposed formula? Check it out:
[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA
The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.
Let's step away from the whole formula thing and really think about this...why would today, or even these next few days be so depressing for people? You got the post Christmas blues/letdown, New Years resolutions are being broken, those holiday credit card bills have come in, winter weather for those above the equator, and most people don't have anything big to look forward to ahead.
“Following the initial thrill of New Year's celebrations and changing over a new leaf, reality starts to sink in,” Arnall said. “The realization coincides with the dark clouds rolling in and the obligation to pay off Christmas credit card bills."
Also, it's been common knowledge that Mondays in general are the most depressing - and out of any day of the week, absenteesim and suicide rates are the highest. Arnall devised his formula taking into consideration those relevant variables and also interviewed hundreds of participants. Looking at his formula, I don't see how "the need to take action" is going to be measured...but I think the whole point of the formula wasn't entirely based on pure mathmatics.
Just think about New Year's resolutions - the whole "turning over a new leaf" optimistic mindset we have at the end of last year. Now is about the time many of these affirmations are being tested...and when many of us are failing. So maybe you snarfed down that quarter pounder with cheese. Or maybe you drank too much last weekend. Oh crap, what happened to that nicotine patch and how did this cigarette suddenly end up in my mouth?
So you get you fat butt out of bed, eat a very terrible breakfast at McDonald's - or even worse, you skip it. Then you smoke a few before heading outside, where it's probably gloomy or cold - or both, and head to your job you don't like...and you have to work, because those credit card bills aren't going to pay themselves. Oh...and have you taken a look at your most recent heating bill? I got mine...and let's just say it's less than $400, but more than $300. Indeed, this is a depressing time for many of us.
So what can be done? Easy - spend more money.
Arnall originally came up with his formula for a travel agency. They wanted to know when was the peak dates most people would book a vacation. “People feel bleak when they have nothing planned, but once they book a holiday they have a goal, they work toward having time off and a relaxing period,” Alex Kennedy, PR for the travel agency.
Have you watched TV lately? How many cruise ship or vacation commercials have you seen? Yesterday watching football, I noticed four of them in just one hour.
So just get past today...here in Phoenixville, USA it's cold and dark outside...and chances are it probably is too wherever you are. Those is Canada, have fun voting today. My British readers, don't kill yourselves. The bloody sun will come out...maybe in March. My friends south of the Equator in sunny Australia...damn you.
By the way...using the formula, the happest day of the year is June 23rd. Until then, keep your Zoloft handy and don't listen to depressing country songs.