Sure, we may be slaying January with 21-day self-care challenges, relationship resolutions and motivational fitness plans, but that doesn’t mean the first month of the new year doesn’t come with its own set of problems. Namely, the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), when so many of us start feeling down due to the change in seasons. We’ve got our light lamps on and have friend dates planned to keep the winter blues at bay, but apparently the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday, is yet upon us. But don’t get too sad about it just yet.

Thoughtful Beautiful Woman Standing On Field During Winter

As with so many other winning cultural phenomena (we’re looking at you, Joaquin and Kanye), Blue Monday began as a publicity stunt. Cliff Arnall, “psychologist, life coach and happiness consultant,” first used the phrase in a 2005 press release in an effort to get more people to book warm weather vacays through his website. He argued that by considering factors like weather conditions, holiday spending debt, time lapsed since the holidays and general restlessness, the third Monday of January is mathematically the most depressing day of the year.

The idea obviously has no real basis in actual science (unless you consider great marketing a science) and Cliff himself has spoken out against the idea. He even heads up the social media campaign, #stopbluemonday, to abolish the term (which also kind of looks like its own marketing campaign?). With that said, he does point out that the stunt has started a larger conversation around seasonal depression, and for that, he is happy. We can get down with that.

Our take to turn Blue Monday into a happy one? Stay positive. Try one of these snow day DIYs, make yourself a White Russian and get active (but not in that order). Or just bundle up and take yourself on a walk outside!

What’s your favorite way of beating SAD? Tweet us @BritandCo and share your secrets!

(Photos via Getty)