Next Monday - the third Monday of January - has been awarded the gloomy title of ‘Blue Monday’ due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and the arrival of unpaid credit card bills.
Supposedly the date was calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.
This year, Blue Monday will fall on Monday 18th January 2021 and is often considered to be the most depressing day of the year.
But given that we are in national lockdown because of Covid-19, many people may already have sad feelings, low mood and anxiety.
For some, Blue Monday is considered a pseudoscience. However, for many people across the globe, the day 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.
What signs should I look out for?
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.
Supporting yourself and others during Blue Monday 2021
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: Reach out to someone this Blue Monday, either a friend or family member via video or phone call. Read a book, have a nice hot bath or do an activity that you enjoy.
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 you can seek help from a range of different agencies.
Samaritans can be contacted free from any phone on 116 123.