January always seems like the most depressing part of the year. It’s cold, dark and everyone is short on money after Christmas. It is no surprise then that there is a particular day when we are more likely to feel down, based on several factors. The third Monday of every year is known in the UK as Blue Monday; and this year that falls on Monday 20th January.
Although this day was originally designed in 2005 as part of a marketing campaign for a travel company to encourage people to book a holiday, the idea has spread across social media over the last few years and has become an important part of raising awareness of mental health support post-Christmas. Cliff Arnall, who invented this day, claims that his intention was not to make us all feel worse, but instead had hoped to inspire and encourage us all to make bold decisions.
Using the various factors that can make us feel sad, there is a useful equation to reflect how depressing this day can be for some people:
T=time since Christmas
Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions
M=low motivational levels
Na=the feeling of needing to take action.
In response to this, Samaritans charity have come up with the genius idea of #BrewMonday to replace Blue Monday. Not only does this name sound remarkably like Blue Monday, it also hilariously incorporates the British colloquial term for a cup of tea (a brew). The purpose of this is to raise awareness of suicide prevention and to check in on your nearest and dearest during this grey time of year.
There are several ways that we can improve our chances of happiness on Blue Monday:
- Make time for ourselves
- Spread happiness
- Think about what you are grateful for
- Get yourself organised
- Take part in one of your hobbies
- Meet with friends or family
On Monday 20th January, how about posting a photo of yourself enjoying a brew with a friend with #BrewMonday on social media? Sometimes, a good cup of tea can make the world of difference.
If you are feeling depressed, you can always call Samaritans for free on 116 123 at any time, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.