Dr. George James, Chief Innovation Officer, featured on CBS Philly: Third Monday of January Known as Blue Monday, Saddest Day of Year

January 17, 2022 | PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The third Monday in January is known as Blue Monday, supposedly the saddest day of the year. It’s when those winter blues tend to kick in.

It’s a dreary Monday in Philadelphia, gray and cold, as we enter year three of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is that time of year where there are so many things we’re experiencing,” Dr. George James said.

The third Monday in the month of January has become known as Blue Monday. The holiday cheer is over and credit card bills are arriving, while people attempt to stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

Adding to the gloom, the Eagles’ season is over with a disappointing loss.

The winter blues are real. The seasonal affective disorder can increase depression when people don’t get enough sunlight.

There are still 133 days until Memorial Day.

“We don’t realize how much sunlight can actually impact our mood,” James said.

James is with the Council for Relationships. He says getting outside, being exposed to the sun, along with exercise can significantly improve your emotional outlook.

“So when we change those things we actually can increase our mood not only just emotionally but internally, chemically we can see changes in our dopamine levels,” James said.

Those feel-good brain chemicals get an extra boost from getting enough sleep and a healthy diet.

“Connect with family, connect with friends, play games, do fun things that might allow you to just feel like you’re in a better place,” Dr. James said.

Paul Loscalzo, a freshman at Drexel University, says you need to “find something that you love.”

Loscalzo has found his happy place visiting with his sister.

“Gotta go out and make the bests of whatever situation and do whatever makes you happy,” Loscalzo said.

That might not be so easy for everyone, doctors say a growing number of people need professional help and that can be difficult to find because of the growing demand.

By Stephanie Stahl

Read and watch the full interview on CBS Philly

George James, Jr., PsyD, LMFT is a Senior Staff Therapist at our University City and Blue Bell Offices. He currently sees clients via online therapy. To set up an appointment, you can reach him at gjames@councilforrelationships.org or 215-382-6680 ext. 4128.

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