January 15, 2024

The Best Kept Secret Cure for the Blues

The third Monday of January is also known as Blue Monday or the most depressing day of the year. In the 2000s, a travel company coined the date, possibly in a bid to sell more vacations.

The science behind Blue Monday being the most depressing day of the year is dubious, but I can’t deny that January simply feels like a sad month, at least in Canada. The days are short and cold, holiday cheer has dried up, and some resolutions for the new year may already feel impossible to reach, or a cumbersome burden.

What’s not dubious? The benefits pets can have for our mental health and well-being. A pet creates opportunities to get outside and stay active. Pets can help us better connect with our community and make social connections that can make life more fulfilling. The companionship of a pet can be a huge boost to our mental health and help fight off loneliness.

If you have a pet, I don’t need to tell you how special it is to come home to a creature who is thrilled to see you walk through the door. That one moment can make all the difference between a good day and a bad day.

The schedule pets help us build is also very important – not just to the pet, but also to us. Pets thrive on routine, and we can enjoy a great sense of satisfaction by meeting their daily needs and providing them with playtime, food, grooming and more.

The benefits of pets also reach across age groups. Caring for a pet can help children and youth develop empathy, compassion and a sense of responsibility. A pet can help an adult who is older keep up a healthy schedule and enjoy constant companionship.

Is Blue Monday a sales pitch? In some ways, yes, but we can never go wrong taking time to reflect on our mental health and how to support our well-being. And I’ve got a sales pitch for you that will save lives: Adopt a pet from the OHS. You’ll give an animal in desperate need of a second chance a forever home, and you’ll enjoy the unconditional love that only a pet can give.

That’s a much better cure for the blues than a two-week vacation.

Sharon Miko

President & CEO