Why is January Depressing?

January blues

How January might be different

Without fail, at this time of year we will hear again about the "January Blues" or something similar. Why do people say that January is the most depressing or "least happy" month of the year? Well, the facts are debatable of course, but many would agree to at least some of the following characteristics about January. For instance:

  1. it's dark;

  2. it's cold;

  3. it follows an exciting and fun filled holiday season;

  4. we take on New Year's resolutions that may not be much fun!;

  5. it follows a very expensive month (December) so financial pressures are a concern.

The list goes on.

Does January make me feel down?

These characteristics may ring true and might make January unique - but do they really cause us to feel down or sad? Not necessarily - but they can affect us by setting the stage for negative thought processes which could in turn lead to negative feelings and low moods.

And, for some people, these 'January factors' can add pressure to an already vulnerable state of mind, and make it difficult to feel optimistic or positive about their life.

How can I get through it?

Thinking patterns need to be taken seriously, as your thoughts are directly connected to your feelings and states of mind. If you don't see this connection, you may become overly susceptible to the unique features of January, and start to lose a balanced view of your situation.

Also, it is important to try and counteract some of these factors by making the best of the month of January, e.g., keeping up with our New Years resolutions; getting light and warmth as much as possible, getting out and doing some fun social activities.

If you still feel an emotional struggle during this difficult month, then seek help by talking about with someone close - family or friends. You may also want to get help from a Counsellor or Psychotherapist who can help you look at psychological factors and offer you strategies to help you move forward.