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How to survive Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year

The U.K. is enduring Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year, as the weather worsens and Britons get back into the year-long daily grind after the Christmas and New Year break.

The term Blue Monday was first coined in 2005 as part of advertising campaign for Sky Travel. It was suggested that the third Monday of January is the most depressing due to a number of factors, including debt built up over Christmas, bad weather and how many days it had been since the holidays.

While the concept of Blue Monday has come under criticism from some psychologists, some experts have come up with solutions for feeling down.

Depressed worker office
Martin Barraud | Getty Images

For instance, Paula Jarzabkowski, Professor of Management at Cass Business School in London, argues that laughter can be the best medicine for back-to-work blues.

"Laughter is a natural, everyday response, even to grim situations, and humor is one way that people deal with tensions at work," she said in a press release.

"All businesses face contradictions and competing objectives. These are often frustrating for the employees involved and cause costly delays in business processes. Managers who pay more attention to humour – a simple everyday response to conflict – can better understand these pressure points, and relieve them."

Others are using Blue Monday to raise awareness about mental health, such as U.K. politician and leader of the Liberal Democrats party Tim Farron.

Meanwhile, U.K. retailer Tesco is giving away free fruit to their customers around the country to help them get through Blue Monday.

"We know lots of our customers will be making healthy little changes to their lifestyle during January and we wanted to do everything we can to help out," said Josh Hardie, Corporate Responsibility Director for Tesco, in a press release.

"We know today is the day people are most likely to be feeling the January blues, and we hope a free piece of fruit will help our customers feel a little bit happier as they shop with us."

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