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Blue Monday – facts and myths. And let’s talk about mental health.

15th January 2024

What is Blue Monday?

January’s third Monday, ‘Blue Monday’, is thought to be be most depressing day of the year! Spoiler: it isn’t.

Blue Monday is a myth

It’s actually a PR stunt that was launched by a travel company, intended to sell holidays. The basis of it was made up of things like the gloomy weather, post-Christmas debt, disappointment from not keeping New Year’s resolutions, unhappiness of being back at work, and just general doom and gloom! Since then it has been commercialised, often promoting things vaguely linked to improve our wellbeing.

Mental Health ‘good and bad’ days are individual to each of us

The ‘most depressing day of the year’ would be different to each of us, so it’s pointless trying to identify it. It’s also important to distinguish between temporarily feeling down (which we all relate to from time to time!) and experiencing depressing or a mental health challenge that can be quite disabling for our day-to-day life.

There can be seasonal variations in our mental health

Blue Monday might not be ‘real’, but seasonal variations to our mental health are. Some people may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder with symptoms of depression that come and go in a seasonal patterns (usually more intense in winter months as there is lower daylight).

Things that are proven to be good for our mental health (e.g. exercising and spending time in green spaces) are logistically harder to do when days are short and nights are long. Also, January can be a bit of a ‘Christmas hangover’ with regards to catching up with our finances, and also indulgent diets.

We should be thinking about our (and our team’s) mental health every day of the year

We shouldn’t just be thinking about our mental health on 15th January this year, but every single day. Depression and other mental health problems last for more than a day, and they can affect people in different ways on any day of the year. Prevention as well as treatment should be a key consideration. What makes you happy?

Simple things we can do to protect our mental health

Some basic, practical things we can do are:

  • Try and talk about our feelings to someone we know and trust. Whether that’s a friend, a family member or a trusted colleague or manager. Talking helps.
  • Try and keep active, eat well and drink sensibly.
  • Ask for help if you are struggling.

Thanks to Mental Health Foundation for the information in this article. If you are struggling or know someone that is, check out this article about how to support someone with a mental health problem. There’s also a great list of key resources in there – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/articles/how-support-someone-mental-health-problem 

Have a good Monday everyone! Let’s turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday… and pop the kettle on.

And if you think your current role or place of work is contributing towards unhappiness? Check out our website and get in touch if you would like a confidential chat – https://workwithseven.com/contact/

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