I woke up this morning to find that it’s Blue Monday. Apparently we all have an excuse for being depressed today. Which is nice. I don’t get an excuse any other day of the year.
I’ve watched news stories on how to beat the winter blues. I’ve found out about a Museum of Happiness, complete with mindfulness colouring. I’ve seen that the way to beat Blue Monday is to book a holiday, thanks to a series of ads on twitter.
For one day the world is concerned about how we can be happy. It’s a nice, friendly, fluffy day to make us all feel better. We can all get through this, is the message.
And then tomorrow we’re all on our own again.
For those of us with depression, every day is potentially Blue Monday. The only difference is that we don’t get a nice, simple reason for why we feel so down. We can’t say ‘it’s okay, it’s Blue Monday’ and laugh it off while playing with crayons.
In some ways it’s nice to see some discussion about depression. It’s been getting more traction as an issue in recent years, but can still quite often feel like you’re shouting into the abyss.
Depression is an incredibly hard thing to talk about. If you suffer from depression, the last thing you want to do is draw attention to it. As a society we’re still very uncomfortable with issues surrounding mental health. Talking about it can feel like drawing a target on yourself.
We need to talk about it, though. Statistically we all know someone with depression, and many of those people suffer in silence. Sometimes they may not want to talk about it, but often they do, they just don’t know how. We should let them know that they can. We need a society where telling someone that you suffer from depression isn’t met with an awkward silence and a sense of judgement.
So, this Blue Monday, take the time to talk to your friends. Let them know that you’re there for them, and that you won’t judge them if they have problems. But don’t stop there. Do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.
Depression lasts longer than a day. Sometimes it feels like it’ll never go away. Be there for someone today and reassure them that tomorrow will always be better.