14 Jan What does Blue Monday mean for our mental health?
What does Blue Monday mean for our mental health? – advice by David Price, CEO of Health Assured
Blue Monday takes place on the third Monday in January. This year, Blue Monday will fall on Monday 18th January 2021 and is often considered the most depressing day of the year. Introduced in 2004, the campaign behind the awareness day claim that the combination of lousy weather, post-Christmas debt and failed New Year’s resolutions all contribute to Blue Monday being the most depressing day of the year.
For some, Blue Monday is considered a pseudoscience. However, for many people across the globe, Blue Monday is a genuine phenomenon and has a significant impact on their wellbeing. Regardless, it’s an excellent opportunity for individuals to discuss and support each other with their overall emotional and physical health during the brutal winter months.
Some of Blue Monday’s most common symptoms mirror that of depression, including low mood and anxiety. Individuals may feel down due to debt gained over the past year/festive period and the colder, darker January weather.
Blue Monday has also been linked to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The long wait between salary payments from December to January is even thought to be a contributing factor. It’s not uncommon for individuals to feel low in motivation as a result, which might impact their work and personal life in several ways, including a loss of work ethic or connection to others.
The many difficulties faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accumulation of fear and uncertainty, January 2021 is becoming a difficult month for many, especially with England in lockdown. To support individuals during these challenging times, here are a few ways to reduce Blue Monday’s impact.
Filling up your day: having a day full of activities will be a great way of keeping an individual’s mind off Blue Monday; they should aim to treat the day as an opportunity for self-care and connections. Plan ahead, and schedule something on this day.
Checking-in: this will allow individuals to maintain constant observation of their surroundings, and help them maintain some control during the day. It’s important to remember that Blue Monday—like the ones that have come before—is just another day and tomorrow is a new day.
Grounding yourself: by using grounding techniques, individuals will keep themselves present and control their anxiety and mood during this challenging day.
Support networks: individuals should try and catch up with someone on Blue Monday by reaching out to a friend or family member via video call or over the phone.