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Blue Monday And The Fundamentals of CARing

Blue Monday. Myth or Opportunity to Educate?

Part of us doesn’t want to give credence to a construct seemingly borne out of social media, and to its detractors, a date often seen as nothing more than a bad taste public relations spin which seeks to do nothing aside from trivialize mental health issues.

Such claims are above our pay grade to comment on, yet because we operate in this very sphere it would seem a bit obtuse not to pursue Blue Monday’s more positive ends and intended values.

Those being, to foster a positive mindset whenever and wherever black moods may strike.

Apart From A New Order Banger, What Actually Is Blue Monday?

To those not in the loop, Blue Monday has been with us a number of years now, and traditionally falls on the third Monday in January.

Whilst rooted in absolutely zero science-based facts, the theory is that come this precise (and that’s where the detractors jump right in) time of year as a nation we’re all cold, broke after festive extravagances and already fallen unceremoniously off our individual New Year’s resolutions’ bandwagons. 

Pertaining to the overall blue mood. 

Hang on a minute. Rewind. Did you say Blue Monday wasn’t based in science?

Yet didn’t a travel company brief a psychologist to pen a formula explaining the January blues (said the curious sceptic to the confused non-believer).

Well, yes. Kinda.

Although somewhat perversely he’s in the midst of publicly debunking his own theory.

(adopting a non-cynical tone of voice) Back in 2004 a holidaymaker approached a renowned psychologist going by the name of Cliff Arnall, inviting him to highlight the factors which contribute to low moods.

And then said holiday firm would obviously address them for commercial gain by supplanting the message within its winter deal-promoting content.

Et voila. A future-proof movement/hashtag/meme is created.

Sorry. There we go again.

The actual formula comprises the following individual criteria.

Is there ANY truth to this calculus/hypothesising?

So you’re trying to tell us that it’s all bunkum and hokum at the end of the day? 

Yes and no.

For his part Arnall has since fessed up that his formula is ‘essentially pseudoscience’. Even going as far to urge everyone to ‘refute the whole notion’ of Blue Monday.

Describing the episode, it transpires that he was simply invited to come up with what he thought was the best day to book a summer holiday.

Speaking with The Daily Telegraph in 2013, Arnall explained; “When I started thinking about the motives for booking a holiday, reflecting on what thousands had told me during stress management or happiness workshops, there were these factors that pointed to the third Monday in January as being particularly depressing.”

OK. But Where Do Cars Fit Into All This?

It’s about this point where (if you’re still with us) you ask perhaps the more pressing question which requires no cod scientific formula. That being, what’s this got to do with cars in general.

The VW Audi Group in particular. 

Well, cars can have a beneficial role in our positivity and lift moods.

Especially if we’re car people.

We’re not being as crass as to infer that cars are the solution to low moods. Merely pointing out that cars can help to alleviate negative feelings if they ordinarily interest you. 

How Might Our Cars Make Us Feel Better?

It’s possible to feel like we’re being enveloped by a big, car-shaped hug when we form close bonds with what others see as a hunk of metal designed to transport us from A to B.

And that’s perfectly fine, as we’re all different.

Browsing the internet looking for our next acquisition, road testing them, buying them, driving them, tinkering with them, restoring them, modifying them, cleaning them, and not to mention ALL the adventures and experiences which take place in cars throughout their life cycles. 

If you’re into your cars they just can’t help putting a huge, daft grin on your face. They are responsible for you feeling good about yourself too. After all, they reflect us and our individual personalities. 

Whilst many people turn to exercise, fresh air, meditation, religion and retail therapy to help them through challenging parts of their lives and times, others take a great deal of direction, familiarity and comfort from their cars.

Cars just have a feel good factor to them.

If you know, you know.

A lot of us make connections to our cars which are almost impossible to articulate. Especially in the company of non-believers.

They nourish our souls and provide escape on so many levels. From the physical to the spiritual and everything else in between.

They just do.

The Fundamentals of CARing

Anyway, we don’t wish any of our more light-hearted approach to this annual eyebrow-rising news story to distract from what is an incredibly serious subject matter.

And that's depression and mental health issues, per se.

We’re addressing the possibilities that when you’re struggling emotionally, it doesn’t matter who or indeed, what you turn to. As long as you gravitate towards something which will serve to ground your feelings and make you feel better about yourself.

Cars and travel company-employing pseudoscientific formulas aside, managing feelings of sadness or depression requires self-care and support. 

Strategy-wise, here’s the most tried and tested ways of dealing with these often overwhelming feelings.

  • Reach out to others. Connect with close friends, family or a mental health practitioner (via your GP) so as to share your feelings and seek support.

  • Practice self-care. Engage in activities which promote wellbeing. These can vary depending on the person, yet can often include exercise, meditation or the hobbies and interests you enjoy at other times.

  • Set realistic goals. Don’t be overawed by situations. Nothing is insurmountable. Break tasks down into manageable steps to minimise stress.

  • Recognise emotions. It’s never not OK to feel sad. But try to identify and challenge negative thought patterns.

  • Limit stressors. Actively reduce exposure to stress-triggers where possible. Prioritise self-compassion.

Don’t forget.

We’re your friends as much as cars are.

Until our next blog, look after yourself……

Call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123

Text SHOUT to 85258

For urgent medical advice, call the NHS on 111

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