Forget ‘Blue Monday’ and instead join Samaritans for ‘Brew Monday’

January gets some bad press, home as it is to huge credit card bills, failed fitness programmes, broken New Year’s resolutions, cold weather and what’s known as ‘Blue Monday’, the day that has been dubbed the most depressing day of the year, which falls on January 16 this year.

It might help your mood to bear in mind that there is no science to back up ‘Blue Monday’ and the idea was invented by a British travel company to encourage people to book holidays.

This year, we’re saying ignore the hype and take a little time out by having a cuppa and a chat with anyone you know who may be going through a tough time – showing you care and listening could save a life.  It could be a neighbour, colleague, relative or friend.  Save the date and take time to talk over tea – at work, home or anywhere a cuppa's available.

Samaritans know that people struggle all year round, our Impact Report 2015/2016 showed that we received 639,652 calls for help in the last 12 months. People talk to us about all sorts of things that are getting to them but the main reasons people call us have remained consistent over the years – family and relationship problems, depression and mental health issues, loneliness, stress and financial problems.

It is not unusual to feel down at this time of year, and there are some practical things you can do which may help.

  • Making time for yourself to relax and do things you enjoy or spending time with people you like can boost your mood.
  • Eating healthily and getting plenty of sleep and exercise can improve your mood.
  • Paying attention to how you’re feeling and talking about your problems with someone you trust is important.

Finding it hard to cope with everyday things, feeling tired or restless and agitated, feeling more emotional than usual, not wanting to talk or be with people or want to do things which you usually enjoy, using alcohol or drugs to cope can mean that you are struggling to cope and could use some support.

If you are struggling, you are not alone. Difficult feelings don’t work to a calendar and external circumstances are only one part of what can makes life feel overwhelming. You can contact Samaritans at any time you like or can speak to someone else you trust like a family member, your GP or arrange to see a counsellor.

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year.

We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123 in the Republic of Ireland, email jo@samaritans.org , or visit www.samaritans.ie   to find details of the nearest branch and to learn more about our work.