About once a year – and I know I’m really lucky and grateful it’s only once a year – I have one of those dark days when I’m really down in the dumps, as we Brits would say, upset even. The feeling of blackness when you’re staring into the abyss. Note that I’m not talking about the phenomenon known as the booze blues here, where you feel a bit paranoid and / or sorry for yourself, through no fault of anyone’s except your own.

Note that I’m not talking about manic depressive psychosis or bipolar disorder here, proper illnesses where the crushing depression, feelings of hopelessness and inner demons must be unimaginably unbearable.

On these days I find it really hard to struggle through a working day. What I try to do on these days is attempt to do a sideways reality shift, in order to escape the blackness. I have a word with myself and I consider how lucky I am and compare my current situation to another that could be a lot worse. I have my health, a roof over my head, and my family are healthy. So how bad is my current situation, really? What’s the worst that could happen to me because of this mindset I have allowed myself to slip into?

This forced comparison of perspective is generally all that’s needed to get me out of that funk. The issue is how long I’m down in the dumps for before I can remember to have a word myself.

I find from both a personal and corporate social responsibility standpoint that a day like this is enough to remind me of the charitable efforts I should be making to those who suffer these feeling or circumstances much, much more often than I do.