Blue Monday Grief

Published on January 16, 2017

Article by Julie Hand for Bodhi Tree

The third Monday of every January—this year the 16th—is officially and unofficially known as Blue Monday, supposedly the most depressing day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It was conceived of more than a decade ago and derived from a formula that factors in weather, post-holiday sadness, possible debt from last month’s splurges and even the failings of our New Year’s resolutions.

This sadness is, in a way, a form of grief, according to Vermont-based licensed psychologist Barbara Kingery, who has 30 years of experience dealing with people’s pain. “Grief is a deeper sadness—a suffering that connects to our worldview. It is an emotion that is not easily remedied without self-reflection and tears,” she says. Grief for what just passed; grief for what is the present.

6 Ways to Work Through Sadness

So, how do we cope on this day, and on all others, when sadness overwhelms?

“We have certain feelings because that is the human experience,” Kingery says. “So initially, hold your grief—it’s your humanity. Later, when you are ready, move on to understanding that you are held by the power of a spectacular universe.” Here are a few ways to deal with a form of sadness or grief:

  1. Meditate. Focus on the pain in order to gain understanding of your Higher Self.
  2. Journal. Come to a greater awareness of the grief and arrive at an insight.
  3. Create a gratitude list. Identify five things or people for which you are grateful.
  4. Volunteer. Help someone else, provide a random act of kindness.
  5. Communicate. Find someone safe with whom to discuss your grief.
  6. Reach out on social media. You may have seen a social media post shared recently, which fosters loving communication for those who are struggling. It starts, “My door is always open, the coffee pot is always on and my couch is always warm and a place of peace and non-judgment. Any of my family and friends who need to chat are welcome anytime. It’s no good suffering in silence.…” Read it, share it and live it by offering its welcoming sentiment to your friends and family, and even not-so-close colleagues and acquaintances.

On Blue Monday, we are celebrating our spectacular universe by sharing the message of hope and reverence for all of our emotions in this awesome experience called life.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health practitioner for ways in which to work through grief or any other emotional upset.

Published on: January 16, 2017

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