Blue Monday has been widely publicised to be the most depressing day of the year, but is Blue Monday really the most depressing day of the year, and what can you do to look after your mental health on a day-to-day basis?
Read on as we explore the truth about Blue Monday and, with the help of Mind UK, give you some top tips to keep on top of your mental health. *Spoiler Alert* spending time in nature is a great way to look after your mental and physical wellbeing (and we’ve got 725 acres of nature for you to explore 👀!)
Google the term Blue Monday and you’ll be greeted with countless articles asserting that the third Monday in January as the most depressing day of the year. However, you’ll also see plenty of credible articles examining the claim and the science (or lack of) behind the moniker.
Is is really all that bad?
In short… No!
Blue Monday was ‘calculated’ based on generalisations about bad weather, post-Christmas debt, disappointment about not keeping our new-years resolutions, unhappiness about returning to work, and general doom and gloom. This calculation was produced by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2004 as a PR stunt for travel company Sky Travel, in order to advertise holidays for the new year.
There is in fact no scientific data to back up the concept that the third Monday in January is any more or less depressing than any other day of the year!
‘Good’ and ‘bad’ mental health days are as individual as we are
Whilst the factors that Cliff Arnall used in his calculation are all real-life things that we all have to deal with during the winter months, our circumstances and experiences are all individual, and generalising one day over another as ‘the most depressing’ would be a futile exercise.
It’s also important to distinguish between temporarily feeling low, which we all experience from time-to-time, and experiencing depression or other mental health problems which can have a quite debilitating impact on our day-to-day lives.
Perhaps the most important thing to take away from Blue Monday is that each and every one of us has our own unique mental health journey, and we shouldn’t limit our awareness to one day at the start of the year, we should be thinking about our mental health every day.
What can you do to look after your mental health?
- Talking helps – Whether it’s talking to someone that you know, or talking with a trained professional, talking about our mental health can be a big help.
- Look after your physical health – There is a lot of evidence that staying active, eating healthy and drinking sensibly has a big impact on our mental health.
- Spend time in green spaces – Research shows that spending time in nature has a tremendous positive effect on our mental health and wellbeing.
If you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health, there are resources available to you. We’ve teamed up with North Staffs Mind this year to place a focus on mental health and wellbeing. Visit their website to find out what resources are available locally.