Turning Blue Monday into Brew Monday
The third Monday in January of each year is often referred to as Blue Monday, a day that has been rumored to be one of the most depressing days of the year. The theory is that on this day many of us are feeling sadder than usual due to cold and dark weather, the unwelcomed arrival of holiday bills, and the time of year that those New Year’s resolutions may be quickly falling through the cracks.
However mental health experts warn it promotes false assumptions and trivializes serious depression—anyone who has had mental health difficulties know it can be experienced at any time of the year and not fall on a single day on the calendar. In fact, the formula for Blue Monday was created with little to no science, by a psychologist hired as part of a travel industry advertising campaign to encourage buyers to take holidays.
A UK nonprofit called Samaritans is trying to counteract the negatives “blues” of Blue Monday by turning it into #BrewMonday- a day to encourage people to take time to talk to a friend who might be lonely, over a nice cup of tea.
In past years, Samaritans volunteers were out and about at train stations around England, giving out free teabags and offering information about their service.
This year however with the pandemic, they are encouraging people to go to virtual. But the message is still the same- something as simple as a cup of tea and a chat can make a big difference to someone experiencing loneliness.
What other ways can we put a positive spin on Blue Monday this year? Well for one thing, the day can serve as a reminder to take time to talk about depression and end the stigma around mental health. It can encourage us to check in on friends and family who may be isolated. It can teach us the real dangers of seasonal depression and how to cope.
With more lockdown measures in effect, it is important now more than ever to reach out to one another. So go on, give someone a call. And while you’re at it, enjoy a nice cup of tea.
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