Bogus? That's right. Just do a little digging around online and you will soon find that Blue Monday isn't a real thing. There's no study, no scientific paper, no statistical data to back up the claim that the third Monday in January is the bleakest of the year. This BBC article even calls it 'a load of rubbish.' In fact, it appears that the term was coined and marketed by a travel company in order to drum up more business.
Such an unsurprising back story really. But when you think about it, it's not such an outlandish claim. We have just exhausted much of our good will and bonhomie over Christmas. The sparkly lights are gone, the nights are still drawn out, and we're still in a global pandemic. It does feel a little bleaker. If we're honest.
Whether or not the holiday marketing ploy worked is irrelevant to most of us. But what we do know is that mental health issues are worth talking about. And maybe that's the real value of recognising Blue Monday. It really doesn't matter that it makes bogus claims. It gives us a reminder to pay attention to this important issue. And that's probably why the concept, first used in 2004, has endured 18 years.
At HR GO, we place a high value on employee wellness. We know our candidates who are supported by their line managers and places of business are most likely to thrive. That's why we've published multiple mental health blogs - aimed at helping candidates manage and maintain good mental health. Just last month, we published 6 Happiness Hacks to Try at Work. And, we regularly publish blogs for our client businesses, like this one, supplying ideas and resources on how they can better support their employees.
As part of our wellness content last year, we even blogged about brighting up Blue Monday, with helpful mental health tips and resources. And today we encourage you to remember to check in with your family and colleagues. See how they're doing. Offer a shoulder if needed. Because talking about mental health problems can be difficult, but it has proven benefits. To help you get started, the Mental Health Foundation offers tips for talking about mental health on their page: How to support someone with a mental health problem.
If you want to make the day more of an event, the Samaritans (who busted the Blue Monday myth some time ago) have developed a whole program of downloadable content to inspire you. They've even rebranded the day: Brew Monday. The idea is to reach out to your friends and loved ones over a (virtual) cuppa for a catch-up. We think it's pretty catchy, but the conversation is more important than what we call it.
And if you're feeling blue about your current employment situation, you know we're here to help too. If a new career is on your radar this year, check out our why we think now's the best time to make the move. Or take a look at what job roles we currently have on offer.