This coming Monday, 17 January – the third Monday in January – is traditionally known as Blue Monday and this year Wealden District Council is supporting the Samaritans’ Brew Monday campaign to raise awareness of the positive things people can do to support their emotional health.
The council is encouraging people to get together over a virtual or in person ‘cuppa’, on the day that is thought to be the most depressing day of the year.
Blue Monday is rumoured to have got its name owing to the combination of post-Christmas blues, cold weather, dark nights and the arrival of the month’s bills. Others claim it was a stunt by a travel company to encourage people to look ahead and book a holiday.
Whatever its origins, the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic means that again this year, Blue Monday could be seen as bluer than usual. Additionally, people may find that Monday is blue because they are frustrated or lonely or are worried about their health, finances and other aspect of their lives.
Now more than ever, sharing a ‘cuppa’ is more than a drink – it’s about making contact, checking in and staying connected.
The council is asking everyone to join them this ‘Brew Monday’ by reaching out to someone for a virtual ‘cuppa’ and a chat.
It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, just taking time to really listen to another person could help them work through what’s on their mind.
Wealden District Council chairman Ron Reed said, “This is such a simple idea that could make a real difference, at a time when we all need a lift. It has been such a difficult time lately and I know many people are feeling anxious about what is happening in the world.
“I will be contacting people for a virtual ‘cuppa’ and a chat – I know it will do me good and them. I do hope everyone will spare a little time on Monday to pass this goodwill on.”
Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland are hosting their own virtual Brew Monday events to help people learn how to be better listeners.
For more information on Samaritans Brew Monday visit https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/brew-monday/. You could make a donation while you’re there, which could help save a life.
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably -offers a confidential listening service which provides a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is in distress. They can also give basic information about mental health and local support services. Visit https://www.thecalmzone.net/
Every Mind Matters also has a practical and easy to use guide, including a Mind quiz to help people make a Mind Plan: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ and a wealth of resources to help with anxiety and mental wellbeing can be found at https://www.mind.org.uk/