DETROIT –  How did this day in January come to be known as the most depressing, blah and … Blue Monday?

Several factors contribute to the dumpy day — the holidays are over, your credit card bills are arriving, a lavish reminder that you may have overspent, and the weather is cold and dreary … a perfect storm to feel lousy says WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

Judy Malinowski, a psychologist from Eastwood Clinics in Novi, says there are also biochemical changes in your body from being on overdrive during the holidays.

“The body wants to come back to some sort of balance and so it produces the stress hormone called cortisol,” says Malinowski. “But a side effect of cortisol is a sense of depression.”

Some simple ways to brighten Blue Monday; exercise, eat healthy, socialize and practice mindfulness by living in the moment.

The third Monday in January is generally attributed to the downer day but it’s also been on the second and sometimes fourth Monday of the first month of the year — so you may be getting the picture — it’s not that scientific.

Which means you’ve got control over how you will address the day and what that outcome will be.

“Coming back to what am I seeing, what am I smelling, what am I tasting,” says Malinowski.

While Blue Monday started out as a campaign about 13 years ago attributed to a travel company’s press release — calculating several factors including weather conditions, debt, abandoned resolutions and generally low energy and motivation.


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