Guilty, Tired and Feeling Fat - Hypnotherapy Directory Reveals Most People Start The Year With 'January Blues'

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A recent survey carried out by online network Hypnotherapy Directory found that post-holiday work stress, weight-gain and even bad weather combine to make January the most stressful month of the year, despite critics claiming that the 'January Blues' do not exist*.

A shocking 30% of people said they very rarely or never enjoyed seeing colleagues again after Christmas.

January is supposed to be a month full of promise, hope and change for the people of Britain. In reality, the guilt of eating, drinking and spending too much over Christmas, combined with the bad weather resulted in only one thing: the so-called 'January Blues'.

Hypnotherapy Directory found that, far from feeling motivated for the year ahead, almost all of the people they surveyed felt guilt, fatigue and dread at the start of 2013 - suggesting that the 'January Blues' might be more than pseudoscience after all.

  • What are the 'January Blues'?

According to Cliff Arnall, a former lecturer at Cardiff University, 'January Blues' can be blamed on six things:
    1. The weather
    2. Debt
    3. Time since Christmas
    4. Time since failing New Year resolutions
    5. Lack of motivation
    6. Pressure to take action.

Prof Arnall said that a combination of the above factors make the third Monday of every January the unhappiest day of the year. 'Blue Monday' was, however, simply not convincing enough for some critics. Guardian journalists slammed 'Blue Monday' as sensationalised 'pseudoscience'. They asked - is it possible, or even right to reduce a whole nation's feelings to a single formula?

Writing for the Guardian**, Dr Dean Burnett said: "What is extremely unlikely (i.e. impossible) is that there is a reliable set of external factors that cause depression in an entire population at the same time every year."

"It's also disrespectful to those who suffer from genuine depression, suggesting that it is temporary, minor and experienced by everyone, rather than what may be a chronic and incapacitating condition," he continued.

  • Settling the score

Is January really as bad as they say, or is 'January Blues' simply trivialising a serious condition as Dr Burnett believes? In a bid to get a real feel for people's emotions at the start of the New Year, website Hypnotherapy Directory launched a visitor survey. Using findings collected between November 2012 and January 2013, the site can now reveal that work stress, weight-gain and bad weather really did combine to make the first month of the year particularly bitter for most people.

It seems time off over Christmas, although appreciated, made going back to work all the more difficult in January. In fact, almost half of those surveyed (47%) said they never or hardly ever looked forward to the return to work in January. For a large number of people, not even the promise of a catch up with co-workers made the idea of going back to work any more appealing. A shocking 30% said they very rarely or never enjoyed seeing colleagues again after Christmas.    

With such a widespread lack of motivation to get back to work, it comes as little surprise that over two thirds (78.95%) said they felt the need to re-evaluate their careers in January. With people despairing over their life choices and stressing over what to do next, the desire to get up for work in the morning severely depleted. In fact, 71.4% of people said they struggled to get out of bed in January due to the dark, cold mornings.

Of course, even those who dislike their jobs still have to pay the bills. There is no doubt that work-stress in January is exacerbated by the guilt of spending too much over Christmas. 70% of respondents said they were always or very frequently concerned about finances in January.

Along with money concerns, the effects of eating too many mince pies and turkey sandwiches can begin to show around the waist. A massive 80% of respondents said they felt like they needed to detox in January after indulging too much.

Although the 'January Blues' may not be a symptom of clinical depression or anything serious in the long-term, the survey findings do suggest the guilt of indulgence, the stress of work and the bad weather really do combine to make January the bluest month of the year for the average person.

According to Hypnotherapy Directory, views of their Weight Loss information page nearly doubled between the last day of December and the first day of January, while those for Anxiety and Depression more than doubled, suggesting that more and more people are turning to hypnotherapy to get their year on track.

Hypnotherapy applies the use of relaxation and suggestion to alter belief patterns and help clients adjust their behaviour. Work stress, guilt and lack of motivation have all proven to be common feelings in January but with February just around the corner, is it worth giving hypnotherapy a try to banish those blues for good?


*Hypnotherapy Directory figures based on an online survey carried out by members between November 2012 and January 2013.


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January Blues