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The Most Miserable Time of Year

(Laurie Essig, Ph.D., Psychology Today) Although feelings of depression and anxiety are extremely common in the build up to Christmas Day, things get really bad after Christmas. One large Danish study suggested suicides go up 40% after Christmas and psychologists have figured out, with mathematical precision, the most miserable day of the year that will occur in approximately 3-4 weeks. 
 ...dubbed..."Blue Monday", a date in January when post-Christmas gloom is at its worst. It is worked out with a formula taking into account six factors: weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing our New Year's resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action…
The American culture of Christmas bombards us with contradictory emotions. We swallow the perfection of a happy holiday alongside the bitter pill of fear and anger among previously dominant and privileged White Christians. We are unsure how to feel or what to do so we do what Americans have always done: we visualize a more perfect future through consumption.  We buy stuff, lots and lots of stuff, wrap it up, give it to our loved ones on the 25th, and then find ourselves more miserable than ever on the 26th. 
But the answer to our misery is right in front of us: we don't need the new XBox or even that robotic puppy. What we need is more social support, generosity, healthcare and community. All I want for Christmas next year is universal healthcare, livable wages for all, a progressive tax system and an end to white supremacy. I hope racially ambiguous Santa is listening.
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