The Blue Monday equation has been thoroughly debunked. Not everyone suffers from “Seasonal Affective Disorder.” Not everyone despises grey days, wind and rain, despite the TV weather forecasters’ habitual insistence on deciding for us what constitutes “good” weather and what we are to accept is irrevocably “bad.” Not everyone wants to live on the Costa del Sol, or San Diego, where you feel like people could do with a little rain in their lives.
There is some evidence that springtime/early summer is actually a much sadder time of year. This is when suicide rates tend to peak. If you’re feeling empty or desperate or dead inside, it can be painful indeed to see the world come alive again, with fields and foliage (and people) emerging from hibernation and suddenly blossoming into ripe fullness. The noonday sun can be too bright, too exposing.
In “Tulips,” Sylvia Plath wrote of the calm, wintry peace of her hospital bed being ruined by the arrival of a bunch of flowers from a well-meaning visitor. The tulips are “too excitable”; they suck the life from the room (and her):
The tulips are too red in the first place, they hurt me.
Even through the gift paper I could hear them breathe
Lightly, through their white swaddlings, like an awful baby.
Their redness talks to my wound, it corresponds.
They are subtle: they seem to float, though they weigh me down,
Upsetting me with their sudden tongues and their color,
A dozen red lead sinkers round my neck.
Tips, jokes and kittens
It seems there’s no escape from the stereotype of winter blues. We’re saddled with the tradition of Blue Monday. Newspapers and other media outlets up and down the land took the opportunity to offer their readers facile tips, stale jokes or pictures of kittens. A selection:
• Blue Monday 2015: 18 simple ways to banish the blues
• Blue Monday: Readers share their best jokes and one-liners
• Top 10 ways to banish Blue Monday blues
• Blue Monday: 13 easy ways to feel happy
• Blue Monday: Manchester's best (and worst) jokes
(Manchester Evening News)
• Blue Monday 2015: 18 ways to lift your spirits this January
• Blue Monday: 10 reasons why today is actually pretty great
• Blue Monday 2015: Ways to cheer yourself up
• Beat Blue Monday by starting a totally new fitness regime
(Yahoo Lifestyle UK)
• Blue Monday: 7 photos to make you cheer up and crack a smile!
• Blue Monday movies: 5 uplifting flicks for the most depressing day
• 19 funny cat and dog videos guaranteed to brighten Blue Monday
(Huffington Post UK)
And one more, which because of the paradoxical nature of living, might actually help to elevate your mood . . .
• 10 songs to make Blue Monday even worse