The Most Miserable Day of the Year?
It's January 24th. This, according to some researchers, qualifies it as the most miserable day of the year. Now I'm looking out of my window. It's raining, cold, gloomy and altogether bleak. If today qualifies as the most miserable 24 hours in a year it's not such a bad deal. Maybe the best thing is to seek distraction in work or watch a good movie - or two?
But we can't just accept the notion of a single miserable day without at least considering why. Just what is so bad about this particular day? Here is a formula that explains all: 1/8W+(D-d)3/8xTQ MxNA. Well that's a weight off all our minds!
According to Dr. Arnalls, of Cardiff University in Wales, It's principally about the weather (W), debt (D) and the time since Christmas (T). And for those of you who wish to spend more time on the formula, I've listed the remaining components below.
The calculation conspires to bring the worst of these elements together by January 24th. It's a month after the Christmas festivities. Any energy we gained from having time off has now dissipated. Those resolutions you made are under pressure. You're already regretting paying out that expensive membership fee to the gym. You wish you'd never got that set of weights. Nicotine patches aren't as good as you'd hoped and on it goes. These are all examples of failed attempts at self-improvement. So now you feel a failure as you reflect on your low levels of stamina and motivation. Sigh!
Family doctors also attest to the fact that the number of people reporting low moods and depression tends to increase during winter months. Some of these cases are inevitably due to a form of depression known as seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
I don't quite know the extent to which the formula is a tongue-in-cheek exercise and I'm not sure what particular purpose it serves. Those of use who live in the Northern hemisphere are all too familiar with drab winters and short gloomy days. The trick, if I can call it that, is to stay active, eat well and keep the mind working. Last year, for example, I discovered my garden. It's actually been waiting patiently outside the house for some years, but last year I noticed it and I pushed some seed things into the dirt part. I was rewarded with stuff I could eat. Thus incentivized I've spent part of January scrounging seeds, labels, pots, and other gear.
The thing about developing an interest is that it doesn't need to be a life-sentence. I have come across people who won't try anything because of some concern they'll pay out for things and then won't take to it. I guess there's always that danger, but if the alternative is to do nothing, where's the joy in that?
As promised, here's the rest of the formula:
W: weather D: debt d: money due in January pay T: time since Christmas Q: Time since failed quit attempt M: general motivational levels NA: the need to take action