Monday 2 October 2023

Blue Monday: don’t be defeated by the saddest day of the year

The term came to light 15 years ago created the idea that the third Monday in January is the worst day of the year. In Costa Rica, it can be applied to the entire month of January.

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Is it possible that each year has a particularly sad day? The saddest of all? Of that a date on the calendar can define such a day? This year, 2021, “Blue Monday” falls on January 18.

The concept of Blue Monday (Blue Monday) is focused on the sadness produced by various factors such as unpaid debts and the end of the Christmas holidays. Illustration: Juan Carlos Alpízar.

Blue Monday is the name given to the day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) by a UK travel company, Sky Travel, to be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first published in a 2005 press release from the company, which claimed to have calculated the date using an “equation” taking into account weather conditions and thus only applies to the Northern Hemisphere.

But, in Costa Rica, Blue Monday (Lunes Azul) because it is the color, in general, that is related to depressive states and sadness, is not determined by weather conditions, since January is one of the nicest months (after the traditional cold spell of the first days of the months) with the start of the “dry” or “summer” season, and when many flock to the beaches and resorts. Pandemic and all.

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Rather Blue Monday or better still “Blue Month” in Costa Rica is determined by the economic situation known as  “Cuesta de Enero” (uphill January) faced by many households as the end of the year parties are over and time to pay the bills, added by the need to purchase dress and supplies for school children to return to classes.

The public school year in Costa Rica is from the first week in February to the first week in December, with a major break in classes in July that coincides with the “veranillo” – summer solstice – the meteorological phenomenon that occurs in South America and Central America, for which atypical conditions are recorded for a winter month for some days.

Private schools often operate their school year based on the North American school year calendar.

Some will traditionally use the Aguinaldo (year-end bonus) paid to every salaried employee in the country in December to meet the uphill, but sadly, many more do not.


This is the formula to calcular Blue Monday based on the 2005 Sky Travel press release: ( C × R × Z Z ) ( ( T t + D ) × S t ) + ( P × P r ) > 400 {\displaystyle {\frac {(C\times R\times ZZ)}{((Tt+D)\times St)}}+(P\times Pr)>400} \frac{(C \times R \times ZZ)}{((Tt + D) \times St)} + (P \times Pr)>400 where Tt = travel time; D = delays; C = time spent on cultural activities; R = time spent relaxing; ZZ = time spent sleeping; St = time spent in a state of stress; P = time spent packing; Pr = time spent in preparation.

Units of measurement are not defined; as all the factors involve time, dimensional analysis of the “formula” shows that it violates the fundamental property of dimensional homogeneity and is thus meaningless.

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The2009 press release used a different formula: [ W + ( D − d ) ] × T Q M × N a {\displaystyle {\frac {[W+(D-d)]\times T^{Q}}{M\times N_{a}}}} \frac{[W + (D-d)] \times T^Q}{M \times N_a}, where W=weather, d=debt, D=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action. Again, no units were defined; the lack of any explanation for what is meant by “weather” and “low motivational levels” means the dimensional homogeneity of the resulting “formula” cannot be assessed or verified, rendering it even more meaningless than its predecessor.

In Costa Rica “Blue Monday” is all of January

In Costa Rica, Blue Month can be the entire month if January for many and can be calculated as follows: [ money saved + plus salary for the month – (December bills coming to roost + the cost of getting the children ready for the start of school +  getting in that last vacation before school starts + eating out + (insert yours here)) = a pretty tough month ].

How to get through the saddest day of the year

  • Exercise
  • Take care of your diet
  • Listen to music to motivate yourself
  • Disconnect from the routine
  • Pamper yourself
  • Smile
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Oh, you thought you would find an easy solution to your finances for the month, that is for next year.




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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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