January 16, 2023
Do you know what Blue Monday is? I didn’t, then I looked it up.
It’s a day that falls on the third Monday of January each year. The gloomiest day of the year where our mental health will apparently take a dip. Why? Because our annual bill payments are coming in, days are becoming shorter, the weather is becoming harsher, and we’re transitioning out of the holiday spirits back into our everyday life.
I agreed with this at first because I have a bunch of bills to pay. But then I thought, “Don’t I have bills to pay every single month?” and “Actually, I’m pretty happy that the holidays are over”.
So, what makes today so gloomy and special?
Blue Monday seems to be a term coined by a psychologist back in the early 2000s for a marketing campaign to encourage people to fly south in January. Go on vacation to make all your worries and sadness go away.
But the truth is…mental health is year-round.
Every day can have its struggles and its frustrations. Having good mental health year-round means you have strong coping strategies in place as everyday problems pop up. And that you know who to talk to when your coping strategies are maxed out, or when a something devastating happens to you or your family – such as a significant illness or a death of a loved one.
The gloomy Blue Monday title can stigmatize mental health. It has a negative connotation. It could focus people on one day that reminds us of our troubles. It could have people falling victim to self-fulfilling prophecies by the messages around them.
I think Blue Monday is a myth. I honestly do. So, I’m just going to go ahead and say this: Do your best like any other day. If you’ve fallen off the wheel, get back on track when you’re ready and go at your own pace.
If you need to talk to someone, call 403-299-9699 or learn more about Wood's Homes mental health services. Professional crisis counsellors are ready to help bolster those coping strategies, listen to your grief, worry, or loss, help you to re-focus on the positives in your life. And if you need extra support, they are experts at all of the different kinds of supports available in Calgary and beyond. They are fantastic mental health service navigators.
Here’s to every day as a good mental health day – even the third Monday in January!