Clear skies ahead

Did you know some people say the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year? These blues can stem from a combination of holiday debt, less sunlight, and failed New Year’s resolutions.

But who wants a Debbie Downer? Psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall actually coined the holiday term “Blue Monday” over a decade ago, hoping to inspire people to take a positive outlook this time of year for new beginnings and meaningful change.1

That’s just what Teladoc is here to help you do. If you’re having trouble, know that there are ways to lift your spirits so this new year can be your best yet. And if you’re not feeling blue, January is the perfect time to take stock of your health and wellness goals and create a plan for success.

Right now is always the right time to check in with yourself about what’s going on in your world. Have you been feeling down? Is there something in your life that you’d like to be different? Are you ready to take on an exciting challenge? Dr. Arnall’s real goal was to help people do a “self-scan” in the new year: “Whether embarking on a new career, meeting new friends, taking up a new hobby, or booking a new adventure, January is actually a great time to make those big decisions for the year ahead,”1 he said.

Mixed messages

While Blue Monday was made to be motivational, some say it falsely portrays depression. A day-long mood does not represent the true reality of depression, which can last for weeks or months.

“Loneliness, sadness, and feeling overwhelmed are major risk factors for depression this time of year, but aren’t limited to any one day, week, or month,” explains Dr. Aron Wolf, Teladoc’s board-certified psychiatry specialist who has more than 55 years of experience in the field.

Hope in help

If you’re feeling lukewarm about life or disconnected from others, it may be time to reach out for a helping hand. Depression is a disorder that requires support from a mental health professional who can weigh in on what treatment is best for your unique situation. Here are three hopeful takeaways:

  • You’re not alone.
  • Teladoc therapists are here for you.
  • Depression responds well to treatment.

While life can bring stress, the daily grind—or big changes to it—sometimes causes reactions that make us feel low or lonely. In the U.S., about 17.3 million adults have at least one major depressive episode a year.2

Identifying this is an important first step on a positive path. You can get an appointment within three days with one of our U.S. board-certified physicians or therapists who can help you set goals for yourself. It’s also important to stay active and connect with others. Light therapy or medication could help, but just as people experience depression differently, treatments vary.

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Updated November 14, 2022


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