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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 to be the most depressing day of the year. Introduced in 2004, the campaign behind the awareness day claim that the combination of bad 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 very real phenomenon and has a significant impact on their wellbeing. Regardless, it’s a great opportunity for individuals to discuss and support each other with their overall emotional and physical health during the difficult winter months.
Some of the most common symptoms of Blue Monday mirror that of depression including low mood, and anxiety. Individuals may find themselves feeling low 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 also 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.
With the many difficulties faced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the accumulation of fear and uncertainty, January 2021 is likely to be difficult for many. To support you and those you care about this New Year, we have listed a few helpful suggestions for ways to reduce the impact of Blue Monday.
Filling up your day: having a day that is full of activities will be a great way of keeping your mind off Blue Monday; aim to treat the day as an opportunity for self-care and connections. Perhaps plan ahead, and schedule something for yourself on this day.
Checking-in: will allow you to maintain constant observation of your surroundings, and help you 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, you will be able to keep yourself within the present and control your anxiety and mood during this particularly difficult day.
Support networks: try and meet up with someone on Blue Monday (if safe to do so) or reach out to a friend or family member via video call or over the phone.
It’s important that you consider the role that Blue Monday plays in your life, however you choose to spend the day. If you feel that this day will be particularly difficult for you then get in touch with your EAP to discuss any of the above guidance and consider your next steps to your overall wellbeing in 2021.
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