– Maybe it’s the guilt from breaking those New Year’s
resolutions. Or maybe it’s the weather, pounding Gilroy with rain
for days then relenting with a thick morning fog. No, wait, maybe
it’s the pages-long, post-holiday credit card bills that are
finally rolling in and piling up on the kitchen cou
Gilroy – Maybe it’s the guilt from breaking those New Year’s resolutions. Or maybe it’s the weather, pounding Gilroy with rain for days then relenting with a thick morning fog. No, wait, maybe it’s the pages-long, post-holiday credit card bills that are finally rolling in and piling up on the kitchen counter.
All of these factors and more are what made Jan. 24 the “most depressing day of the year,” according to British psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall. A specialist in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff in Wales, Arnall created a seven-variable formula that considers a handful of factors that make people feel especially bad about themselves.
“So that’s why my day has been like this,” said Joselyn Garcia, while shopping at Nob Hill Monday.
After spilling hot coffee on her white blouse in the car, Garcia arrived at work in Morgan Hill to find her e-mail wasn’t working. She didn’t remember her dentist’s appointment until 20 minutes after the fact, and then realized she had nothing in the house for dinner.
It all begins with resolutions to eat better and exercise more, which Arnall said most people break six to seven days into the new year. By the third week in January, even the determined have thrown in the towel.
The weather, too, seems to be stuck in a drag. Although days get longer after Dec. 21, in Britain, cyclonic weather patterns ensue and bring dark clouds, causing some to want to simply crawl under the covers. Seasonal affective disorder also takes a grip when the sun is scarce. Even those who don’t have the disorder, also known as winter depression, might feel less happy than usual.
And the negative vibes can be contagious. The bubbly cheer of the holidays has faded. For some, the holidays meant an extended vacation or at least leaving the office early once or twice. Now it’s back to the grind.
To top it all off, Jan. 24 happened to fall on a Monday.
Rochelle Arellano, an employee at Barnes & Noble in Gilroy Crossing, said her day went better than usual. Each day before coming into work, Arellano said she makes sales goals, and around 2pm she was on track.
“It’s a marvelous day,” she said. “Everything has gone according to schedule, and the best part is, there’s been no crabby customers.”
Browsing for books, Kim Randle said it had been “just a normal day” for her. Randle said she heard on the news about the so-called cursed day, and while it made her laugh, she didn’t take it seriously.
Hollister resident Valerie Hjerpe and some co-workers spent the day in San Francisco at a food show as part of their work at Casa de Fruta. The day was enjoyable, Hjerpe said, except that she lost her cigarette lighter.
Falling off the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, though, was one part of the equation the four said they could identify with.
“We ate a lot of sweets today,” Hjerpe said. “In fact, I think we ate our way through San Francisco.”
Andrew Chanterra, from San Jose, met a friend for lunch in Gilroy Monday. Chanterra said he had a rougher–than–usual morning, but nothing too traumatic.
“Well, let’s see. I was running late because my 3-year-old was protesting going to daycare. And then the waiter got my order wrong,” he said. “But other than that, it’s been a fairly normal day. Although, I agree about the debt thing, I can tell you that.”
The scientific equation
The formula is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA
(W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.