Monday, 18th January 2021 – “Blue Monday”
Monday 18th January 2021 marks 'Blue Monday', typically given to third Monday in the Month of January, that some refer to as the most depressing day of the year. It is thought to be the day when the financial pressure of Christmas, the dark cold winter weather, the extra pounds acquired over the holiday season and the failed New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside, fall heavily on our mental wellbeing.
For some, Blue Monday is considered a pseudoscience. Pseudoscience or not it is an opportunity for individuals to discuss and support each other with our overall emotional and physical health during the difficult winter months and particularly given the fact that we have started the New Year in the middle of yet another COVID-19 Level 5 Government Lockdown Restriction.
Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for employers to check in and ensure their employees are coping during these unprecedented times. Our mental health is invaluable to us and we should be looking after our mental health and wellbeing every day of the year.
Things we can do to protect our mental health
Employees may be finding it more challenging to juggle the demands of their jobs and the rest of their lives at the moment. As working from home will remain in place for some time to come, employees may be feeling down, alone or isolated at this time.
As a starting point, we recommend some basic practical things we all can do to protect our mental health:
- Try and keep active, eat well and drink sensibly
- Ask for help if we are struggling
- Stay connected and engage in a new rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you
- Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself:
- You could try reading more or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the internet. Try and rest and view this as a new if unusual experience, that might have its benefits
- Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak
Mental Health is sometimes shadowed in the background and employers forget that the Health and Safety and duty of care equally lies on the care of your employees Mental Health just as much as their Physical Health. Employees with both good mental and physical health will be more engaged and proactive in their work and daily lives.