JOPLIN, Mo. — Today, Blue Monday, is considered the most depressing day of the year.

“Right now, it’s just a tough time of year. Christmas is over, there’s not big holidays to look forward to. There’s less light, all the bills are coming in for all the stuff I bought for Christmas. Depression hits a peak. People are struggling with affective disorder, that is all the emotional angst of life,” said Dr. Karl Wendt, Director of Mt. Hope Christian Counseling

Dr. Wendt says his team sees more people seeking help around this time.

“More and more people are open to working on their own issues. I don’t know if it was Simone Biles. I don’t know if it was COVID. People are just realizing it’s okay to struggle, but it’s also okay to name it and say ‘I’m going to make progress on this. This is not who I am, it’s what I’m going through.’ That’s what counseling’s all about.”

Dr. Wendt says talking about your problems with a family member or friend can also help.

“When things are not talked about, they just get frozen. They just get stuck at whatever difficult level they are and just loop and loop and loop and loop and the same problem keeps going on and on. When you talk about it, it changes the neural pathways in your brain, just by verbalizing and talking about it. Even without solutions, you are already making it better by talking about it.”

Exercising and getting more light can also help fight the blues.

“Do something for somebody. In fact, as long as its not illegal or immoral, just do something. You just get yourself moving then you can make progress and make better decisions,” added Dr. Wendt.