The third Monday in January has been designated “Blue Monday” due to a combination of bad weather, post-holiday debts and people’s frustrations that their New Year resolutions are already proving impossible to maintain.
For many of us, particularly if we are experiencing mental illness and distress, any day of the week can be a blue one. Depression can be particularly pertinent going through the various life transitions – from becoming a new mum and managing expectations, through to divorce, mid-life and menopause. Bereavement and a change in role within the family are also possible triggers. These things, when combined with other factors, such as individual history, personal disposition, and the disparity between our expectations of how our life ‘should be’ versus how it actually is, can add up to a struggle for some of us.
There is no shame in experiencing depression and today there are so many options for treatment, including talking therapies and medication. Alongside treatment, there are many things we can do for ourselves that may help. Mindfulness at a recognised institute or regular exercise can help combat low mood.
Speaking authentically and regularly to people we like and who care about us, alongside getting professional support, can help ourselves to recover. This takes time and we need to be patient with ourselves. We may need to make adjustments to our routines and habits. Perhaps we’re aware of some things that we do that are not nurturing or helpful to us. Or we genuinely want to invest more in our self-care. This in itself requires commitment and determination, which can be hard to conjure when we are going through tough times. We need to exercise the same compassion and kindness to ourselves that we offer others. For many of us that is also a big challenge. So being patient, kind and open to new possibilities may help us regain some optimism.
If you do experience January feeling a tad ‘blue’, as the credit card bills roll in and the weather is grim, plan for something you enjoy. Perhaps take time to curl up in a chair with a good book or get in touch with a friend who you know is a laugh. Hopefully, you can manage the day, and then the week. Practise taking each day in turn rather than worrying about a constantly long list of things you should be doing.
You could also reach out for support to Jami‘s talking therapies service for help with depression.
If you need support or are supporting someone who needs help, visit jamiuk.org/get-support/ or contact 020 8458 2223
If you are struggling to cope or need immediate help, contact Shout’s 24/7 crisis text service. Text 85258 Jami to for free, confidential support.
For free, safe and confidential online counselling and emotional wellbeing services for adults, contact Jami Qwell at www.qwell.io/jami