Blue Monday

Blue Monday & Looking After Your Mental Health

Rombourne Blog, Health & Wellness

At Rombourne, we’re committed to helping look out for the welfare of our teams and our clients, and that includes their mental health. 

Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. That means, in 2021 it’s on January 18.

So, how are you managing right now?

Perhaps you are a manager, or you work as part of a team, and are currently working in isolation.

How do you stay well? And how do you support those around you if they need help too?

Firstly, let’s focus on you, because you can’t pour from an empty cup.

As a registered member of MHFA England, providing interactive mental health first aid and awareness training for business leaders and colleagues, we explore actions around self-care, and helpful coping strategies for wellbeing. Whether it’s going outside, exercising, talking to friends, getting creative, or learning a new skill, these are great distractions and can also help to build resilience.

We also support the philosophy of Action for Happiness who have developed practical approaches to self-care, five of which we talk about below:

Practical Approaches To Self-Care

Connect: connect with the people around you. You may not be able to meet face-to-face currently, but there is always the option of video (like Zoom), phone, email or social media. So connect with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school, or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

Be active: go for a walk or run. Step outside, cycle, play a game, garden, dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a physical activity you enjoy and one that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

Take notice: be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are walking, eating lunch or talking to your friends online. Be aware of the world around you and what you are doing. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning: try something new, rediscover an old interest. Sign up for that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike, learn to pay an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you will enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

Give: do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone.  Smile. Volunteer your time. Join a community group. Look out, as well as in. Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with the people around you.

Which ones resonate with you right now? And which ones can you cultivate in 2021?

If you are supporting others, the ‘10 together toolkit’ at Action for Happiness is also a great resource and conversation starter for managers.

If you want to find out more about these approaches or would like more information and access to resources around self-care, mental health awareness, non-judgmental listening, reducing stigma and improve overall workplace wellbeing, please contact me via paula@mywhitedog.com.

This article was kindly written by Paula Power of My White Dog, who has some great advice on taking care of your wellbeing.