What's so blue about National Blue Monday?
National Blue Monday has been around since 2005 when it was reported that the most depressing day of the year had been scientifically calculated. The science of the claim has since been invalidated but the national day has stuck. Always the 3rd Monday of January the day represents gloominess and low moods.
Not a cheery topic, perhaps, but an important one.
As in many developed countries the UK has a growing problem of anxiety, depression and chronic mental health. 1 in 4 Brits will experience mental health difficulties each year say the NHS. Difficulties ranging from generalised anxiety to chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And we are seeing an increase in self-harm and suicide suggesting that, as a nation, we are less well equipped to deal with our mental health challenges. So perhaps National Blue Monday 2019 is just what we need to get us talking about our unwanted emotions.
What we do with our unwanted emotions is a hugely important topic for every area of our lives. The hangover we have as a culture from the stuffiness of our British ancestors has not always stood us in good stead to be modern enlightened individuals. Victorians advocated suppressing unwanted emotions and maintaining a socially respectable exterior. They had strong divisions between the public and private and now that those have been challenged and sometimes demolished. Bathing machines (sheds on wheels that would be pushed into the water to allow delicate Victorians to change unseen) have given way to naturist beaches, and we now celebrate the female orgasm where our Victorian predecessors would have turned pale in mortification at the mention of it. We are now freer to express ourselves and our public and private lives are more connected. We are not living in the era of stuffiness any longer.
In 2018 we had #itsoknottobeok and the Royals launching Heads Together which aims to break the stigmas of mental illness and get people talking. But is it working? Are we managing the blues, or the rages, or the blind panics or the green mists. Are we getting control of our unwanted emotions and even learning from them?
In recognition of the 2019 National Blue Monday Ladies Who Launch have invited me to stage a takeover. For more on my work with mental wellness as a coach head over to my blog. If you are reading this around the 21st Jan 2019 then join in the conversation on social media with your thoughts on the blues.