Blue Monday is absurd!
The third Monday in January is most commonly referred to as ‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year - we don’t agree. In this special blog, our digital manager looks at the history of this event and explains why we are calling time on Blue Monday and making it a ‘Bright Blue Monday’.
Blue Monday is absurd – let’s be clear about that from the start. It is nothing more than pseudo-science based on one advertising agency’s desire to sell more cheap flights. We don’t need a special day to feel depressed. Some of us live with depression three hundred and sixty five days a year.
Blue Monday started in 2005 as part of a PR stunt for now-defunct holiday company as a way to get people to book their holidays earlier in the year. The press release included a very impressive looking calculation that took several factors including weather, debt level and motivational levels, along with the endorsement of an academic - who shall remain nameless, and was paid to put his name to the piece.
Not long after its release, the academic in question distanced themselves from the endorsement.
I, like one in four of the population, experience periods of acute anxiety and depression and have done so since my early teens. I don’t need to wake up on the third Monday of January to be told that today I am going to feel even more depressed than normal and that I should book a bargain basement flight to sunnier climes - not that my anxiety has allowed me to fly for the last decade.
Yes, January is a difficult time of year, yes those bills are indeed coming in - but don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the media whirlwind. Don’t allow a PR stunt from 13 years ago affect your mood and tell you how you should feel – I won’t.
“One in four people will experience mental illness in their lifetime – Blue Monday takes a serious issue and turns it into something gimmicky and throw away. We should demand better."
- Peer, Digital Manager at Rethink Mental Illness.
On Monday Rethink Mental Illness will be asking our 400,000 strong social media audience to make it a Bright Blue Monday and to do something good – to share a coffee with a colleague, bake something for the office or to text an old friend to say hello. Keep it simple but make it bright! Let’s turn an aging PR stunt into a social movement for good. Let’s remember that millions of people live with depression and mental illness every day and with the right care and support there is hope.
To find out more about Bright Blue Monday, please download our poster and tweet us your photos using the hashtag #brightbluemonday