Blog: Blue Monday? I'm fed up all the time

First published in Helen Mead Chorley Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Lancashire Telegraph columnist

If you woke up today in a pit of despair, don’t be too concerned. Today is Blue Monday — the most depressing day of the year, so-called due to a range of factors including the weather, post-Christmas debt and lack of motivation.

For me it didn’t register as any more depressing than the January days that have gone before and will come after, each as gloomy as the next. Having started the year battling an illness that come and goes, leaves me flat on my face and has no cure, I don’t have any great expectations of a fun-filled 2013.

But, whatever my problems, I should, like many others with far worse things to worry about, try to look on the bright side.

This isn’t made easy by the existence of Blue Monday, reminding us why we should be down in the dumps.

Wouldn’t it be better to start the year by reinventing it. After all, we are three weeks into the new year so we should be getting into gear by now.

How about we rechristen the day Yellow Monday, and change it into a sunny, happy date, which acts as benchmark for the rest of the year. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to do my best to be upbeat.

A good laugh always helps — as they say, it’s the best medicine — but, whereas when I was younger I laughed my way through life, now I rarely break into so much as a chortle. Embroiled in the struggle to make ends meet, with retirement a distant dream, there’s not much to laugh about.

The last time I laughed out loud was back in December at our local pantomime, fuelled by the sight of my daughters falling about with mirth. And I managed to raise the odd smile watching Father Ted over Christmas.

But since then I’ve been enveloped by the usual January glumness. I could always join a laughter clinic, apparently available on the NHS. But the idea of sitting in a group held together by enforced jollity leaves me cold.

At this time of year we need something to be happy about. On Wednesday my neighbour Bob gets married, which promises to be a fun-filled occasion. He will no doubt make me laugh, having already suggested that we make it a double wedding, with me and Gordon, the number one man in my life, who also happens to be my cat.

But as the month ends it’s my birthday. Another year older, again the wrong side of 50. My car and home insurance is due and I’ve got two school trips to pay for. Is there a sunny side? I’m struggling to see it.

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