Everything gets better from this day forward.

That’s because today is — scientifically — the most depressing day of the year.

In 2006, Cliff Arnalls, a British tutor at Cardiff University in Wales, unveiled his mathematical proof for why we should all just stay under the covers today. Arnalls’ formula goes like this: 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ MxNA, where: W = Weather; D = Debt; d = money due in January pay; T = Time since Christmas; Q = Time since failed quit attempt; M = General motivational levels; and NA = The need to take action.

“Any energy from the holidays had worn off by the third week of January,” Arnalls said in explanation of his theorum. “Most people by then will have fallen off the wagon or abandoned the nicotine patches as they fail to keep New Year’s resolutions.”

Compounding this year’s formula for disaster are high gasoline prices, higher heating oil prices, slippery sidewalks, a health care spending impasse, a governor prone to ludicrous pronouncements and the onset of a presidential campaign destined to simultaneously raise the price of political influence and lower the ethical common denominator exponentially.

But take heart. The logical extension of Arnalls’ formula is that, after today, things can only improve. Unless, of course, the Mayans were right about that whole 2012 apocalypse thing.