Monday 16 January 2023

Brew Monday, not Blue Monday

As I wrote this time last year, Blue Monday is a term that was popularized in the media in 2005 by a travel company, Sky Travel, to describe a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) that is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year.

The idea is that a combination of factors, such as post-holiday blues, cold weather, and unpaid credit card bills, make this day especially depressing. But it is nothing but pseudo-science coined by a PR company, to increase the sales of holidays rather than being based on any scientific research or data.

Last year, I was pretty indifferent towards it, but this year I have a more negative view on it because, upon further reflection, I feel that it trivializes depression in a number of ways and is not something that we should be promoting.

For instance, it implies that depression is a one-day event that can be easily identified and labelled. In reality, depression is a serious mental health condition that can be a long-term battle for sufferers, and is not limited to a specific day or time of year.

It also suggests that depression can be reduced to a set of superficial factors, such as the weather or holiday bills. The truth is that depression is a complex condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, life events, and personal circumstances.

Further to that, it implies that depression is something that can be overcome or avoided through simple solutions such as buying a plane ticket. Again, the reality is very different. Depression is a serious condition that requires professional treatment and support.

By trivializing depression, it can make people who are suffering from depression feel that their feelings are not taken seriously, and that their condition is not worthy of attention, which can contribute to feelings of isolation and hopelessness.

It is important to remember that depression is a serious mental health condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. Rather than focusing on a specific day, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and to seek help when needed.

So, if you must celebrate something today, why not join the anti-Blue Monday movement by celebrating Brew Monday instead? 

If you are struggling with depression or any other mental illness, please seek help or talk to someone. Don't be too embarrassed or ashamed to reach out. It is OK to not be OK, but it is not OK to just ignore it because you think it is just down to the day of the year and will pass in time.

As an old British Telecoms advert here in the UK used to say for it's slogan; "It's good to talk." And what better time is there to open up and talk about your feelings or problems than over a nice cup of coffee or tea? It's certainly much better than paying attention to some travel company's stupid pseudo-science. 

So if you are feeling down or a struggling to cope, give someone a call and go have a good chat with them over a cuppa. Of course, there is no substitute for professional help but talking with friends and family is certainly a good place to start.

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