If everyone seems to have a long face today, there’s a reason for it. It’s Blue Monday, the day thought to be the most depressing of the year, thanks to a number of factors.
This includes the weather, the time elapsed since Christmas, failed New Year Resolutions, and debt, all converging to bring on a bumper dose of the blues.
People hit a low this week and are at their least motivated of anytime throughout the year, a British researcher concluded while coming up with the theory.
Now a permanent fixture in the calendar, the day has its own website and has sparked workplace events designed to cheer everyone up.
Sadly, no-one in our office is willing to don clown outfits and throw custard pies, so I decided to rise to the challenge and put a smile on my own face. So, these are my reasons to be cheerful on Blue Monday: l It’s getting lighter. Those of you who don't rise before dawn probably won't have noticed, but the change is there, albeit slight. On the train to work I can make out the silhouettes of buildings and trees rather than pitch blackness.
l The first cup of tea of the day. Always a pleasure to savour when I arrive at work.
l Lunch with my friend and colleague. This is something I look forward to to break up the working day. We always dine in the same place. It hasn't got any Michelin stars but in my opinion it serves fantastic baked potatoes.
l Coming home to my kittens. Two brothers, they are irritating in the extreme, launching themselves onto your back without warning and constantly tripping you up. But they are cute and cuddly and I love arriving home to see their little faces.
l University Challenge. My husband, eldest daughter and I love this Monday evening programme. Call us sad, but we keep score: My husband wipes the floor with his knowledge of classics and other public school stuff I have never been taught, my 17-year-old daughter usually comes second, notching up points on geeky maths things, while I generally come last.
l A hot bath with a good book. There are few greater pleasures to look forward to at the end of the day than this. Why people like showers I will never know – we’ve lived in our house for nine years and I still haven’t been in ours. My friend bought me The Island by Victoria Hislop for Christmas, about a leper colony off Crete.
It is true what people say, that the simple things in life make us happy - focus on them to banish those blues.