Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Not-so-blue Monday for nine in 10'

A new poll indicates it's not such a blue Monday after all
A new poll indicates it's not such a blue Monday after all

Christmas is over, resolutions have been broken and the weather is miserable - but despite the supposed gloominess of "Blue Monday", most people are still content with their lot, according to a poll.

As the credit card bills roll in today - supposed to be the most depressing day of the year - a YouGov survey for the Church of England has found nine out of 10 people count their blessings and are not so "blue" after all.

Out of 2,084 adults, more than half said being thankful for family and partners was their top blessing, followed by health.

In a video released by the Church of England today, Christian writer and broadcaster Brian Draper talks about the "low ebb" of Blue Monday, asking how people can make the most of this time of year.

He suggests giving a hug or helping hand, or performing a random act of kindness to a stranger, like paying for coffee, or smiling as you pass someone, adding: "It's amazing how much joy is to be found within self-giving acts of love."

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, said: "It's no surprise to find that Blue Monday originated as a piece of PR puff, and this is reinforced by the poll results.

"Happiness comes when we stop living our lives just for ourselves. The importance of family and partners highlights that when we are loved and show love, it begins to make a difference to how we live and how we view the world.

"No wonder that the Christian faith places the self-giving love of Jesus at its heart. God can always provide affirmation even when the still important human affirmation lets us down."

The research also shows that the proportion counting their blessings every day increases with age, with one third of those aged 55 and over counting their blessings every day, compared to one in six of those aged 18-24.

Women tend to feel more tired, depressed and overweight than men in January, but on the other hand women are far more likely than men to count their blessings once a week or more often, the survey found.

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