YESTERDAY may have been the most depressing day of the year, but many residents in Swindon were as upbeat as ever.
January 6 was, for many, the first day back at work following the festive holidays, and often the day when the weather, financial situation and relationships get them down the most.
Despite expectations that many of Swindon’s residents would be full of misery and despair on what has become known as Blue Monday, most people were still buzzing from the Christmas season.
Gilbert Cook, of Ferndale, was one of the members of the public who had not been affected by a bout of the blues.
The 68-year-old said: “I don’t feel particularly depressed, and I haven’t spent too much money over Christmas.
“If people don’t have the money they shouldn’t spend it. It seems a good idea to take out loans but you shouldn’t take out what you can’t give back.”
Blue Monday was originally calculated by Sky Travel’s Cliff Arnall, who originally thought it fell between mid-January and the last full week of January.
In his calculations he included a number of different factors including the weather, amount of debt, the number of days since Christmas Day and the effect of failed New Year’s resolutions.
But during the past three years researchers have been recalculating the day by looking into more than 2m tweets posted by British residents which feature negative phrases and suggest a general drop in mood.
Yesterday, researchers estimated the number of tweets relating to guilt as they abandon newly-formed New Year’s resolutions would be five times the average figure, and more researchers expected complaints about the weather would be six times higher than usual.
Men were expected to be more miserable than women, and it was also expected to be the most popular day for divorce proceedings to open in the second most busy month for divorce after September.
Robert Barrett, a marriage counsellor for Marriage Care who regularly sees clients in Swindon, said: “I have been counselling for Marriage Care for about years and there is a definite upsurge in numbers of people reaching out for counselling in January.
“Christmas of all of the seasons of the year just puts so much tension on relationships. There are so many expectations and disappointments. It’s a time of great joy but it is also a time of great tension.”
To find out more about Marriage Care, visit www.marriagecare.org.uk