Monday, January 30, 2006


Apparently last Tuesday wasn't just trying for me but for many....

Jan. 24 called worst day of the year:
British psychologist calculates ‘most depressing day’

By Jennifer Carlile
Reporter , MSNBC
Updated: 1:51 a.m. ET Jan. 24, 2005

LONDON - Is the midwinter weather wearing you down? Are you sinking in debt after the holidays? Angry with yourself for already breaking your New Year's resolutions? Wish you could crawl back under the covers and not have to face another day of rain, sleet, snow and paperwork? Probably. After all, it's Jan. 24, the “most depressing day of the year,” according to a U.K. psychologist.

Dr. Cliff Arnall's calculations show that misery peaks [Tuesday].

Arnall, who specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff, Wales, created a formula that takes into account numerous feelings to devise peoples' lowest point.

The model is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.

‘Reality starts to kick in’
Arnall found that, while days technically get longer after Dec. 21, cyclonic weather systems take hold in January, bringing low, dark clouds to Britain. Meanwhile, the majority of people break their healthy resolutions six to seven days into the new year, and even the hangers-on have fallen off the wagon, torn off the nicotine patches and eaten the fridge empty by the third week. Any residual dregs of holiday cheer and family fun have kicked the bucket by Jan. 24.

“Following the initial thrill of New Year's celebrations and changing over a new leaf, reality starts to sink in,” Arnall said. “The realization coincides with the dark clouds rolling in and the obligation to pay off Christmas credit card bills.”

The formula was devised to help a travel company “analyze when people book holidays and holiday trends,” said Alex Kennedy, spokesperson for Porter Novelli, a London-based PR agency.

It seems that people are most likely to buy a ticket to paradise when they feel like hell.

“People feel bleak when they have nothing planned, but once they book a holiday they have a goal, they work toward having time off and a relaxing period,” Kennedy said.

“When you imagine yourself on the beach it makes you feel positive. You will save money, go to the gym and come back to the optimism you had at the end of 2004,” she said.

In U.K., up to a third get SAD
Research shows an escape to the sun can have real health benefits.

Up to a third of the population, in Britain at least, suffers from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, also known as winter depression, according to MIND, a leading mental health charity in England and Wales. Furthermore, nine out of 10 people report sleeping and eating more during the darker months.

While most cases of the winter blues are not severe, 2 percent to 5 percent of those with SAD cannot function without continuous treatment.

However, it's extremely rare to find anyone with the disorder within 30 degrees of the equator, where days are long and the sky is bright year-round, according to MIND.

© 2006 MSNBC Interactive



All well and good, except I suffer from reverse SADD (ie; the sun makes me feel even worse).

Also they use the word "depressing." Methinks vexing would be more appropriate.

And we're in Chicago, not Britain.

Plus the formula neglects to take into account {pesky career issues + chronic ailments}* x 10 to the nth degree.

On the other hand..... if I'd known about this malarky beforehand perhaps it all would have been a bit easier to take. You know, because I would have expected the worst.

Plus today I learnt that my jump-start savior** was waiting for me inside the store where my car was stranded the entire time -- only I didn't even know it (the savior) existed.

Yet another Yoga 101 lesson, thinly disguised.***


*Enduring shoulder and neck issues have meant that I've been modifying my practice and only going up to Navasana for the past two months. Perhaps we should add {- exercise + 5 extra lbs} to the mix.

***That savior would be Target's = Start-It Compact Elite Jump-Start System
• 12 Volt portable jump starter for your car
• Built-in jumper cables
• $29.99

***Methinks the lack of a meltdown means I must have passed the test.

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