Turn Blue Monday into Blooming Monday with Colour

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Today is apparently the most depressing day of the year. It even has its own name – ‘Blue Monday’.  It’s based on Dr. Cliff Arnall’s ‘formula’ where he gathered a number of factors such as Christmas holidays withdrawals, debt, low motivational levels, weather etc.

And the calculations all added up to the third Monday in January being labelled ‘Blue Monday’.

Picked up every year by the media, you may agree, see it as a bit of fun or nothing more than pseudoscience.

I originally wrote this blog back in 2014 as Mental Health Research UK used this as a great opportunity to encourage us to dress in colourful clothing to highlight the plight of those who suffer from depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as part of their ‘Blooming Monday’ event.

Dr Cliff Arnall said it was never his intention to make the day sound negative. He intended the phrase ‘Blue Monday’ to inspire people to take action and make bold life decisions rather than emphasising misery of year’s joyless date

So with that in mind, let’s look at 5 top tips on using colour to positively support how you are feeling, or how you want to feel.

1. Look for those that you feel comfortable in
You’ll notice there are many variations for each hue. Wearing colours that don’t resonate with your authentic personality and physical colouring are likely to create a strain, both physically and emotionally not just for you, but also how you want others to interact with you.

2.  Aim to have a balanced palette of colours to wear 
Having a full spectrum of colours within your tonal colour family means that all your emotions can be supported, no matter how you are feeling.

3. Are there colours missing from your life?
You might like to see which colour/s are missing from your every day. It might be those you don’t like. There may be an underlying personal or cultural reason for rejecting them. You may also be rejecting that emotion. I used to reject all yellows until I realised why I was doing it and then I was able to connect with a  yellow that I loved which happens to be a warm sunshine yellow.

4. Favouring a colour
If there is a colour that you are finding yourself consistently drawn to, there may be a reason why you need the psychological support it’s giving you.  Be careful that it doesn’t start to overwhelm you.

5. Experiment and have fun!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour and different colour combinations. Above all enjoy and have fun! I often find that bringing in a bunch of colourful flowers or a flowering plant gives me an instant feel-good boost!

Below is a selection of colours showing some of their positive psychological effects, so no matter how you are feeling you know there is a colour that will support you? You may choose to wear colours to stay with that feeling, or ones to support positive change. Colour can help support the outcome you want.

Pink – Nurtured and loved
Yellow – Optimism, confidence, self-esteem
Green – Peaceful, relaxed
Light Blue – Calm, reflective
Dark Blue – Calm, focused
Brown – Grounding, support
Red – Energised, physical courage, passion
Violet – Self-reflection, spiritual awareness
Orange – Fun, joy, sensuality
Black – emotional safety, creating protective barrier, wanting to hide
White – clarity, simplicity, creating protective barrier
Grey – hides the personality, protection from others

Want to know more about Blooming Monday? Check out Mental Health Research UK.

I love that this year, Samaritans will be holding ‘Brew Monday’ instead. The charity’s website states: “We say it’s time to stop this myth about Monday being ‘blue’ and instead start a conversation over a brew! ​Reach out and connect with family, friends, colleagues and loved ones.”

Wishing you a colour filled day!

source: The Independent , Mental Health Research UK, Samaritans Brew Monday , The Little Book of Colour
Originally published 29th January 2014. Updated 17th January 2022.

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