Tuesday 23 August 2016

Kim Bielenberg: Reasons to be tearful – Blue Monday makes me want to pull my hair out because it’s a PR stunt

Published 21/01/2013 | 12:49

A sardonic reference to Blue Monday is written in snow on a sign board in St James's Park, London.
A sardonic reference to Blue Monday is written in snow on a sign board in St James's Park, London.

THERE is good reason for feeling grumpy today. We have been told until we are blue in the face that it’s Blue Monday – the most miserable day of the year.

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What makes me particularly grumpy is that some experts, or PR companies, also said last Monday was the most depressing day.

So, make your mind up. Which is it?

Perhaps last week’s Blue Monday promoters thought it would be a good idea to get in ahead of the pack.

Like Christmas, Blue Monday is getting earlier every year. It’s enough to make me tear my hair out.

It is only a matter of time before the card companies get in on the act with Happy Blue Monday cards.

According to the experts behind last week’s event, it was the gloomiest day because we were all settling back into the work routine and we were starved of daylight.

This week we are supposed to have long faces, because we failed spectacularly in our New Year’s resolutions.

Perhaps we drowned our sorrows after Leinster’s untimely exit from the Heineken Cup, or our decision to give up on junk food ended with a horseburger.

We are also gloomy today because Summer is so far away, apparently.

Bah, humbug! As the psychotherapist Dan Roberts suggested in the Huffington Post today, the most depressing thing about Blue Monday is that it’s a load of old cobblers.

It grieves me that the day was actually invented years ago by a travel company that was trying to flog foreign holidays.

They found a psychologist who came up with a formula for calculating the day - involving weather, debt, time since Christmas, and low motivation.

It is a mark of how useless this formula is that nobody seems to agree when the day falls.

And inevitably, PR companies have come up with no end of pointless cures for the Wintertime Blues to coincide with the unhappy day.

I am not convinced by the suggestion by a chocolate company, for example, that “playing with puppies” is a genuine solution.

If we are to believe the news reports, at this time of year hundreds, if not thousands, of pet owners have already abandoned the puppies that they got for Christmas.

Feeding the poor creatures, cleaning up their mess and listening to their yapping obviously made them seethe with discontent.

At least, tonight we can console ourselves, that the next Blue Monday is a whole year away – unless, of course, there’s another one next week. Then I really will be feeling blue.

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