AT the time of me writing this column, it is ten o’clock at night on what I’ve seen has been termed ‘Blue Monday’.

The third Monday in January has been given this name because it’s apparently the most depressing day of the year. This was worked out, “scientifically”, (and I cannot stress those quotation marks enough here, I’d put them in bold and size 48 font if I could because it is a load of mince) by a PR company using a “formula” which took into account the weather, the fact lots of people are struggling with debt after Christmas, the average time it takes to give up on New Year’s resolutions and general low motivational levels.

The whole thing doesn’t sit right with me at all. It seems a bit like it’s trivialising mental health, almost saying that it’s simply linked to a date on the calendar and probably puts the fear into people struggling with depression, anxiety and other illnesses that this day is coming and you WILL feel worse than you ever have.

January is absolutely the worst month of the year however. It seems to last forever.

I’m convinced there’s actually about seven weeks in January and it’s some kind of government conspiracy designed to make us miserable. A few people I know got paid the Friday before Christmas and now have to wait for the last Friday of this month for their next pay. By my calculations that’ll be on the 41st of the month.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am stressed at almost all times. My pal went to see the new Adam Sandler film, Uncut Gems, a movie about a man who is just stressed out of his mind at the start and it then gets worse for two hours. He said his first thought after coming out was, ‘He reminded me of you, mate.’

It’s just a constant feeling for me, always there like background noise. Like television static buzzing in my brain. I think I was born stressed, fresh out the womb like that, ‘Right, let’s get worried.’ I’ve seen myself get stressed out on a walk with the dug.

There’s days with writing where I can just fire words out for hours and hours and that’s when I feel the least stressed but then there’s the days close to deadlines where nothing comes. I sit down, open up the Word document and suddenly realise I can’t think of anything. The white screen staring back at me, looming over me, laughing at me. It genuinely feels sometimes like I’ve lost the ability to think.

When I worked in a sports shop it was really bad. Sometimes on the footwear department I’d have four or five people waving shoes at me wanting to try them on and I was the only one there cause the rest of the shop was bouncing. I’d be running about in a blind panic, turning the stock room upside down looking for size nines, head feeling like it was filled with wee toy motors all zooming about and crashing into each other. But then I’d see a colleague who seemed more stressed than me and then I’d enter a weird state of zen and be able to calm them down while also re focusing on what I had to do and realising it really wasn’t that bad.

That’s the thing, and I think a lot of people are the same, it’s the wee things in life that stress me out.

It’s hard to remember that at the time, when I’m in full-on freak out mode, that everything is actually under control and if it’s no then it’s easily fixed if you just take a minute to try and calm down.

I’ve tried a lot of things to stop myself getting so stressed. If I know I have a lot to do on a certain day – meetings, deadlines to meet, housework, paperwork, I wake up in a panic.

I tend to spring out of bed and try and do everything at once, meaning nothing really gets finished and it’s all done

haphazardly. Making lists really does help. Taking just five minutes to write everything down helps you see what needs done and you can then work out what’s a priority and actually structure your day better. Once that’s done, you’ll see your tasks clearly and be able to factor in a bit of time for yourself to do something nice to relax your mind, even if it’s just sitting watching a quick episode of something on the telly.

Ticking things off the list gives you a wee boost as well.

When everything seems to happen at once in work or in my personal life, flooding my brain with stress chemicals, I find that removing myself from the situation and finding somewhere quiet away from everyone, even just for a couple of minutes to collect my thoughts helps.

Make a mental list then get back out there and try and be the cool head.

Be selfish when you get stressed and do what you need to do to calm down. It’s never, ever, the end of the world.