The Phoenix

Monday, January 23, 2006

"Just Thinkin' About Tomorrow..."

Just don't think about TODAY - Monday, January 23rd, 2006 - the gloomiest most depressing day of the year, according to Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at the University of Cardiff, specializing in confidence-building and stress management. He's also an expert in seasonal disorders.

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 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.


Blogger cube said...

I posted about this today myself. It's just so ridiculous, yet they truck it out every year.

1/23/2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Mojotek said...

I heard about this on Bob & Tom this morning... While I can see the factors that can contribute to this phenomenon, I feel like a million bucks! Oh wait... my dog just died. Ok, NOW it's officially the most depressing day of the year.

1/23/2006 11:47 AM  
Blogger siren said...

I think all Mondays are equally depressing. Who came up with working five days with two off? Jerks.

1/23/2006 12:13 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

This is the time of winter I start feeling up. Even though, theoretically, the days are supposed to start getting longer after Dec. 23, around here you don't really start to notice a change until about mid-January; the slant of light changes, the days seem brighter. Yes, it's still cold and wintry, but all in all it's not too bad.

This is also more evidence why I think resolutions are a bad thing. The holidays are hard enough, why follow up with more pressure?

1/23/2006 12:21 PM  
Blogger Crazy Dan said...

Today is also better business communication day, do you think these two days are related some how?

1/23/2006 12:50 PM  
Blogger ObilonKenobi said...

Oh Man. Is that why I'm so depressed?? It may not be mathmatically sound like the Drake Equation but it is a pretty good guestimate as to why people are down this time of the year and also from a Marketing perspective. Since most Marketing and Advertising is based on voodoo anyhow I assume that this is no worse or better than 4 out of 5 dentists agree that Chewing Dentine is good for you!

1/23/2006 12:51 PM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

You know, they've been spreading this crap all day on radio stations in England.

It's been below freezing all day, dull, the traffic's been mayhem.

That's the reason everybody's depressed.

Oh...and I saw a few people smoking and eating cake, so I guess THEY had a bad day too.

1/23/2006 12:59 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

Can't say I'm totally depressed, but I've seen better days. Maybe it is true, afterall.

1/23/2006 1:23 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

What's the price of gasoline now? What's the price of heating your home now?
How much more in your health insurance going to be this year? (if you even have any)
How much is that interest on those credit cards?

I think people just get slammed at the beginning of the year. Mix in winter weather, gaining weight from the holidays festivities, and broken resolutions, it's no wonder a lot of people are down right now.

1/23/2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

I think upto know its been quite mild here, or maybe because it isnt cold coupled with rain(like in the UK)that makes the difference?

btw I tagged you sorry hee

1/23/2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I wasn't at all depressed until I read this post. Now, I'm feeling gloomy, and your little pep talk at the end wasn't enough to pull me out of it.
Hold on....

Okay, I'm back. I snapped out of my funk. I just can't wallow in misery. It's too boring! Besides, I haven't broken my New Year's resolution to lose weight. Not once!! I'm ten pounds down with another ten or so to go. Woo-Hoo!!

1/23/2006 2:30 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

True stuff.

So far, I have blown every resolution I made for the New year.

Maybe I can celebrate that??? I dunno....

1/23/2006 3:21 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Wow...the sun actually broke through the clouds here in Phoenixville, Missouri.

I was feeling great until I saw my heating bill on the table.

Now I need another Zoloft.

1/23/2006 3:24 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Whoah, too much thinking hurts the head period.

1/23/2006 4:17 PM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

Phoenix ?

It may be my computer, but your site has gone all weird on me.

1/23/2006 4:31 PM  
Blogger Bruce said...

ben, it's not just yours. everything flip-flopped on mine too.

1/23/2006 4:55 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

my personal formula is:


PDCC = Number of past due credit cards.
FNUC = Number of Final Notices from utility companies.
BBD = Number of bad blind dates in past 90 day.
DBY = Number of dead birds in the back yard.
AAPK = The average age of the last seven punk kids who called me "sir."
DLBT = Number of days left until I have to buy tires for the car.

Application of the formula indicates that my next "good day" will be July 8, 2012. Until then, pure crap!

1/23/2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

I decided to flip flop my blog...why? Because change is good. Can't get too comfortable now.

Jim, that's pure genius.

1/23/2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

My wedding anniversary is June 24 so I guess that June 23 is the happiest day of the year due to it celebrating my last day as a free man.

1/23/2006 5:46 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

Mon blues r inevitable every week...and every Winter is depressing no matter what...

but we must smile anyways...:)


1/23/2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Grafs said...

I'm feeling great...I must be an outlier. I'm not surprised.

1/23/2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

thanks for letting us know you flipped it, I thought I had an aneurysm

1/23/2006 6:28 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Happy anniversary, Fuzz...I hope you celebrated today, "Freedom Anniversary" day.

Yeah, I didn't mean to freak out some people. I hadn't done anything to the look of my blog in a long time, so I decided to alter the header a little, and do some housekeeping.

Sad, though, as I had to drop two of my favorite blogs - Obiolonkenobi and Andrew Cairns, since both quit blogging.

1/23/2006 6:49 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

Well, that helps to explain my day...

1/23/2006 7:21 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

That is why I have planned a short jaunt to the sunny beaches of southern California in March!

1/24/2006 12:22 AM  
Blogger Laura:) said...

Lol, I am glad to see the feelings I have been having are normal.

1/24/2006 8:40 AM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

Not only that, but we have Bush being an idiot for a change too on January 23rd.

1/24/2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

We studied seasonal disorders in psychiatry class. They never mentioned the Monday blues though. In pharmacology class they did mention that monday's were when people who worked with chemicals got their headaches again because of re-exposure to the chemicals.

1/24/2006 9:40 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I thought I was down just because I'm still recovering from the flu. Anyway... the sun is out and it's not too cold. It's going to be a good day!

1/24/2006 11:12 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

I was a little gloomy... but not THAT bad ;)

1/24/2006 1:39 PM  
Anonymous james said...

I made it through the 23rd in one piece, in fact the only depressing thing about the whole day was the fact I was at work.

I love this time of year, it's those long hot summer days that really depress me.

1/28/2006 6:42 AM  

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