Blue Monday is behind us, so we might as well see if we can set about feeling better.
At some point, someone decided the third Monday of January should be the saddest day of the year and enough other people decided that sounded about right. Supposedly, it’s a time of year when people are feeling down in the dumps because of the weather, the post-holiday blahs, debt, New Year’s resolutions that have already failed, etc. The existence of Blue Monday is somewhat bogus, since it was apparently created by a U.K. travel company that’s no longer in existence, and numerous psychologists have since downplayed the concept as not based on any fact-based research. But what’s all in our head is still very real to us.
Maybe Blue Monday was a rough one again this year, but we got through it. Now we find ourselves approaching Bell Let’s Talk Day on Wednesday, Jan. 25, another notable date on our mental health calendar. This year’s Let’s Talk Day will be a little different than previous years. The telecommunications giant has decided to change its charitable approach and support mental health with $10 million in donations to community organizations instead of the nickel-by-nickel donations of years past. The Let’s Talk initiative deserves credit for helping to de-stigmatize mental health conversations, and so it will be interesting to see how those conversations change.
After all, the week after Blue Monday is the right time to talk. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness this year. One in 20 Canadians are affected by major depression and one in 20 are affected by anxiety disorders.
The winter blues can feel very different to each of us. Maybe we made small talk about the weather on a rainy Blue Monday last week. Maybe someone we know desperately needs a more meaningful talk this week.