Typically the third Monday in January – this Monday 15th January – is referred to as “Blue Monday”. It was first coined by Sky Travel in 2005 to sell holidays post-Christmas.
The concept has been used to represent how people may feel in the weeks after Christmas, when the days have been dark and cold for months, Christmas holidays are over, and many people are low on money.
However, as a psychologist for Nido, I don’t think it is helpful to put expectations on people in respect to how they should be feeling at a given time. So, I thought it would be good to talk about “concepts” regarding mental health.
It is important to recognise that we may have different experiences as well as commonalities in how we feel and experience the world around us. Let’s try and avoid the “should do” and “expectations” in terms of our experiences and focus on our individual formulations.
How are YOU feeling today? What are YOU feeling positive about or uncertain about right now? Its ok to be positive – and its ok if you are not feeling too positive right now.
Check in with each other and take time to really hear what someone’s experience is and sit with that. Try and avoid minimising or “rescuing” what they share with the typical “don’t feel like that, be positive” responses we can so easily offer. We are all in this together, but we don’t all have to feel the same!
This time of the year, why not consider how you may be able to connect with people around you. If social media is bombarding us with Blue Monday content, then why not take back the day and do something to help yourself and others connect.
Connection is a fundamental need for humans and doing things for others can benefit our own emotional health. This can be something as simple as a ‘hello’, checking in on someone who may be going through something right now, going for a coffee with someone, or organising a formal get together in your accommodation.
So, this Blue Monday, be kind to yourself and others and let’s normalise talking about mental health.
—— Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo