Have you ever wondered why January feels like such a long month, and more difficult to get through than others? It turns that there is a scientific reason for that, and it results in what is known as Blue Monday, or officially the most depressing day of the year.
There are a number of factors, both scientific and environmental which can contribute to the depression associated with Blue Monday. The dreary weather can be one main contributing factor. It is estimated that in the US, approximately 10% of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and other 10 – 20% of Americans suffer from a mild form of the disorder. This can have an impact both a person’s overall quality of life, and their productivity at work.
For many working in life sciences, whether it be an office or a laboratory, the limited amount of sunlight and fresh air, make it difficult to combat these factors and beat Blue Monday.
Tips to Beat Blue Monday
One tip to beat Blue Monday and improve your mood can be a simple as listening to music. Much like exercise, Music can have a profound effect on your mood. Similarly to exercise, listening to music can improve blood flow, lower levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol, and ease pain.
According to Kim Innes, a professor of epidemiology at West Virginia University’ School of Public Health, music seems to “selectively activate” neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention and memory in ways that promote beneficial changes.
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