TODAY is the most depressing day of the year - we have been warned.
Dr Chris Arnalls, of Cardiff University, has evaluated several reasons for misery which are reckoned to descend on us this morning.
Using a scientific formula he has calculated that January 24 is the worst day of 2005. The combined effect of bad weather, mounting debt, the length of time since Christmas, failed New Year's resolutions and lack of motivation make today a thoroughly depressing prospect.
The formula of woe reads, 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA, which translates as weather (W), debt (D) (minus the amount of money to be paid on your next pay day) and the time (T) since Christmas. Then there is the period since the failure to quit (Q) a bad habit along with general motivational (M) levels and the need to take action (NA) to plan something to look forward to.
According to a survey of 1,000 people commissioned by Sky Travel, January 24 throws a whole raft of barriers in the way of happiness and provides the lowest point for many.
Having cosseted ourselves indoors for the Christmas break, we are forced to brave cold, wet and dark weather, particularly in the morning.
Add to this the worry of debt accumulated over Christmas, and further spending in the January sales, and it is no wonder we feel miserable.
January 24 is particularly dangerous due to the length of time since the Christmas break. Dr Arnalls explains that the energy we get from a relaxing Christmas break wears off by the third week of January, making it the darkest week of the year.
In addition, most of us will have made and failed to keep New Year's resolutions.
All this results in a need to take action, explains Dr Arnalls, making January the ideal time to organise something to provide a motivating focus - like saving for a holiday.
Did you have a depressing Monday? Contact Daniel Davies on 02920 583677 or email daniel.davies@wme. co.uk to tell us what happened to you today