It’s Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. The holidays are over, the good intentions have been abandoned, the days are short and vacations are still far away. Yet this day is not that much more depressing than the rest of the winter. “It’s a bit made up.”
Blue Monday was created in 2005 by British psychologist Cliff Arnall. According to him, it was scientifically the most depressing day of the year. It falls on the Monday of the last full week of January. It is now seen more as a marketing trick. This day is actually not more depressing than the rest of the winter.
“Blue Monday is a bit made up. At this time, people suffer from winter depression,” says Lisette Rops, psychiatrist at the GGzE. “We treat as many people for depression in January and February as we do in October.” So Blue Monday is not so much more depressing than other days. The fact that people feel more depressed during this period is due to the lack of sunlight. People spend less time outside, which makes them feel sad and therefore they go outside even less. Winter depression makes people withdraw even more.
According to Rops, the best way to combat winter depression is light therapy. There are several LichtCafés in Eindhoven. Special lamps replace sunlight during this time. “Ninety percent of people with winter depression recover,” she says. Just like in a real café, you can sit somewhere, have a drink and read a book. But with white light in front of you. “We also provide advice to people about their lifestyle.” Through the GGzE you can be referred to such a LichtCafé.
The post first appeared on studio040.nl