Many people use and misuse the word “depression” for anything that is not good but the fact is that depression itself is more serious than frequently practiced expression. The depression has all possible and impossible psychological circumstances and background reasons while bad mood and lack of energy are temporary. So, messing bad mood and depression isn’t something that is nice to do when it comes to the rules of January and its reputation as the first and the worst month in the year.

Why is that ? It is simply the after-party period, the settlement of New Year’s resolutions and passions and replacement of adrenaline with devotion and dedication. That is the time of the Year when we have to show we are responsible about our plans and not just hidden behind the New Year magic and entertainment. The fact is that science officially make January being considered as the Monday of the months. You know what is Monday and how meaning it has for all of us. The end of fun, joy, tranquility and dreams. The return of the reality. The same is with January. The modern psychotherapy is arguing that January is a serious problem for many people that aren’t stabile mentally. It is the worst time for all those who feel alone, broken and forgotten. This forever Monday is the long month, coloured with grey days, cold nights and lack of Christmas decoration. It is some kind of failed tale, the touch of real dimension in our lives.

It is interesting that some experts dived behind the bad image of January and came out with reasonable statistics: “ Psychologist Cliff Arnall gained widespread media coverage when he proposed this idea in 2004. Taking into consideration several factors that contribute to low mood, he crafted the following formula:

Blue Monday formula, [W + (D-d)] x Tq,, MxNa, Why is January so Depressing, Foundations Wellness Center

W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing our new year’s resolutions
M = low motivational levels
Na = the feeling of a need to take action.
” In other words, this was an introduction in pseudoscience with factual seasonal depression impacts.

The SAD or the seasonal affective disorder is actually opening the door of psychological issues and therapy. It affects always more and more people that are falling down into the trap and riddle of January. The cold month, with long nights and short days and with no much sunlight has created the ideal conditions for birth of January depression in its worst. No money, no fun, no hope. It is the beginning of the circle but it still seems like the bitter end, professionally and privately.

The circumstances in January are such that people usually don’t know where to start and how to rebuild good mood or anything that is left from last year and Christmas euphoria. I don’t think we should blame January for it like we shouldn’t blame Monday for being simply the first and the worst. I guess it has a lot to do with the expectations and the predictions of the New Year. We put so much stress on ourselves, like we expect that some magical brush clean all the bad things during just one night and we get the paradise. The January is exactly the proof that great things take time and it doesn’t happen over night or over day. Yes, it could be depressive but only because we are somehow designed in our DNA to believe in that: Monday is the hell, January is the hell. Everything else is a blast. Is it, really ?

The human beings are programmed to follow some socially adopted convictions. If the society is condemning Monday or January it is very likely that 90% of people will identify themselves with this oath. It must be so terrible, otherwise wouldn’t be so mentioned or argued. But, we forget that each of is is individual with our own personal regulations, habits and dreams. We do share some social patterns and logic but we adapt to our own souls. What if I tell you that January is your month , the beginning of your year and the life you always wanted ? Indeed it is grey and cold but some brilliant things are usually veiled unless it is their time to rise and shine.

The perfect jobs don’t happen only in summer but also in winter. The true love can find you in January as well as in July. The good health and fitness could be maintained during cold months even better than in got season. Who said it cant be ? Don’t let them project on you the grudge of the social habits. You are there to think, to work on your own lifestyle design and you need January.

I agree that financially and emotionaly we might be drained in January but it is just the first phase, the introduction into the amazing year full of opportunities. It cant be always be an explosion of awesome vibes, there are moments that are challenging and that is also ok and acceptable. It is not the end of the world and your happiness, it is just circle you learn how to lead in your direction the best way you can.

How to avoid this January´s lack of creative energy ? Just be yourself and be aware that this is just a phase you expected and you will go smoothly through. Try with baby steps and do every day a bit of things you decided to do. Also, include all those rituals that make you happy and relaxed. No matter if that is 5 minutes or 5 hours, it is your time and your life and that has nothing to do with January. This month is there to help you to be the better version of yourself. Every now and then, you are closer to your goals and your personal time management shouldn’t depend on January, cold weather or less money. It is changeable. Think of all those things that you will do this year and stick to that. You are healthy and you will be healthier. Eliminate all those toxic people and situations you don’t need in daily rhythm. You have right to do that. It is your life and only yours. Whoever doesn’t understand that or make you feel bad about your own happiness, it is time to say good bye. We have only one life but if we do right things for us, it is more than enough.

Nobody need to understand you as long as you know what you need. The soul peace and balance in life is the El Dorado of the new age and January is our last problem about it. The real problem is that we search for excuses to not do something rather than to find courage to go for things we want in life.

Dont be an enemy with January, be a friend with and you will win.


  1. Sarah’s inspirational article reminded me of how the ancient Romans perceived Janus (i.e. the namesake of January – Ianuarius).

    Janus was the ancient Roman god of beginnings, transitions, duality, paths and endings. In Latin , ‘Ianus’ means ‘arched-passage way’.

    Frequently, in the ancient periods, Janus symbolised transitions such as past to future, from one physical or psychological condition to another, from one vision to another and adolescent growth.

    Janus was celebrated and worshiped at sowing season (i.e. planting of crops) and at harvest times, as well as at births, marriages and deaths.

    Ancient Romans believed that the beginning of anything was an omen for the whole, and so they would exchange good wishes during early-January. In addition, they exchanged dates, figs and honey as tokens of well wishing.


  2. This is a very interesting article, Sarah !

    As one matures, he/she learns along the way that, in life, all days are the same and all months are the same. In other words, the idea that Monday is worse than the other days, or that January is worse than the other months, is all based on, as you stated in the article, what society sets as a standard. In reality, these standards are all artificial and are not rooted in any logic whatsoever.

    I would like to add the notion mentioned in the book I’ve recently read, namely, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruíz. In it, he specifically explains that life is an illusion, and that everyone creates his/her “own illusion”. He goes on to say, in essence, why not create a good illusion?!

    Thank you, Sarah, for this educational and so-well-written article !


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !