How’re you feeling today? I hope it’s good because today is the saddest day of the year according to Dr Cliff Arnall.
Cliff Arnall, a health psychologist at Cardiff University, has devised a formula to work out the worst day of the year and came up with January 23rd for 2006.
His calculation is based on the poorest weather, debts owed for seasonal spending, the time since Christmas, the period of time before you abandon New Year’s resolutions, the dates when motivation levels seems to be at their lowest and the timing for the need for action to escape the blues.
Dr Arnall said: “January weather patterns include many days with low dark cloud and associated cold, wet and sleety conditions.
“During the Christmas and New Year holidays we don’t have to go outside if we don’t want to. We can watch television, entertain visitors or just read a book. At the end of first week of January, however, many people have to go back to work or make sure their children get off to school. They are then exposed to the frequently unpleasant weather.”
Then there are the obvious problems associated with accumulated debt. “After New Year there is an additional pressure to spend more as January sales tempt already financially stretched individuals and families,” said. “For most there is a realisation by the third week, of January that spending on sales items needs to be stopped so that Christmas can be paid for.
“Interestingly, nearing pay day may seem like a positive but it may also result in increased stress as the person realises they won’t be, able to pay off their Christmas bills.”
Failed New Year’s resolutions also take their toll, he said, with millions of people feeling like failures before the first month of the year is even out.
If we’re feeling sad today, maybe we should sit down and make a list of reasons to be cheerful.
Start off with having a computer to read this; it makes us better off than most of the world’s population. Then there’s the house where you are sitting. Then there’s the street or the neighbourhood you live in, with tarmac roads and running water and electricity and telephones. Then there’s living in a country where we have peace and security and doctors and hospitals and schools, and the list goes on and on.
Maybe we should write our lists and send them to Dr Arnall at Cardiff University.
If we have food and clothing and shelter, we should be content writes Saint Paul. We have a whole lot more than that.
Today shouldn’t be a sad day!