I was in my local supermarket the other day, and as I stood in the queue I cast my eyes over the assorted magazines, which had the usual ‘New Year, new/healthier/better/happier you’ slogans. My first thought was, do people not realise that it’s possibly the same ideas re-written and adapted for each New Year? Then it occurred to me just how these magazines, however well-meaning, might further add to the anxiety already felt about not being healthy and happy enough. It was the latter of the two which really grabbed me. We’re frequently told that it’s ‘bad to be sad’, and yet my own low moments have often been some of the most enlightening. When we have ‘sad days’, which we all do no matter how happy we normally are; they can provide an opportunity for reflection, and to re-think the direction our life is taking. I have learnt so much about myself during the times when I’ve felt the need to retreat from the world and have some quiet time alone. Now, I must stress at this point that I am talking about the normal ebb and flow of our moods. Feeling a bit down every now and then is perfectly normal, but feeling depressed is quite a different matter and I would always recommend counselling or a visit to the doctor if you are suffering and your low moods are becoming more serious and frequent. As someone who has suffered from depression in the past, I would always say get help, and don’t suffer for longer than you need to. Yet don’t fight those occasional ‘down days’; they may have a lesson for you, which would otherwise be missed.