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How to Get Through the Most Depressing Day of The Year

What does the worst case of Monday blues mixed with post-holiday winter gloom get you? According to Cliff Arnall, the most depressing day of the year.

Coined Blue Monday, this most inauspicious day falls on the third Monday of every January (which just happens to be tomorrow). Arnall, a psychologist, life coach and happiness consultant, determined this date using an equation he created back in 2005*. He took into account the weather, the average amount of debt a person has accumulated after the holidays and their ability to pay it off, the time that’s passed since Christmas, average levels of motivation and how long it took them to break their New Year’s Resolutions.

While there isn’t much scientific data to back up his theory and a formula that fluctuates per person, there’s no doubt that post-holiday blues, winter gloom and a general disdain for Mondays gets everyone down. Here are a few tips to combat the most miserable time of the year:

Cuddle up with some adorable puppies

Today, Cadillac Fairview is hosting some pop-up puppy parks to brighten up your Monday. What better way to warm up your heart on this cold winter day than snuggling with some puppies? Dog-influencers Elvis Pawsley and Iggy Joey will be hanging out for play and pics from 9:30am to 2:00pm at the following locations:

Toronto-Dominion Centre – 66 Wellington Street W., in the linkway

RBC Centre – Wellington Avenue West, East Lobby

Simcoe Place, Wellington Avenue West, East Lobby

Cadillac Fairview Tower, 20 Queen St. W, Lower Lobby

Toronto Eaton Centre, 1 Dundas St. E., Main Lobby & 250 Yonge St., Lower Lobby

Sleep more, eat better and exercise

It’s the oldest trick in the book for a reason. Getting back to a routine with enough sleep, some exercise and some healthy food additions is a slow but sure way to lift your mood. The benefits of exercise are incontrovertible and it’s easier than ever to get a workout in. From free fitness videos on YouTube and Instagram that you can do from the comfort of your home to trying a new and exciting class at the gym through ClassPass, there’s no reason to miss out on the post-workout endorphin rush.

Create a list of things to look forward to

While the end of winter may be a faint glimmer at the end of the tunnel, you can help make the journey a little brighter. Create a list of things to look forward to. This can be as simple as a lunch or movie date with a friend, the upcoming Game of Thrones season or a vacation to the place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Winter Activities

Even though winter is a part of the sadness equation for many people, it does have a lot of season-specific activities everyone can enjoy. Take advantage of skiing, snowboarding and outdoor ice skating while you can. Get in touch with your inner-child and build a snowman, snow fort or have a snowball fight. Get cozy with some hot chocolate or a drink at a heated outdoor patio.


Self-care is the buzziest buzzword of the wellness community and a great excuse to nest at home. It’s the perfect time to read the book (or books) that’s been sitting on your shelf for months, take a long bubble bath with a delicious bath bomb, or declutter a la Marie Kondo.

It’s important to distinguish the post-holiday blues from actual depression. If the blues worsen or linger for weeks, seek support from a professional.

*Arnall’s formula: [W + (D-d)] x Tq ÷ [M x Na], where “W” represents weather, “D” stands for debt, “d” represents monthly income, “T” is time elapsed since the holiday season, “q” is the period in which everyone has broken their New Year’s resolutions, “M” represents levels of motivation, and “Na” stands for the need for people to take action.

Rida Ahmed