Blue Monday – Your mental health and wellbeing matters

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Written by: Alcumus
18th January

It’s the third Monday of January, typically known as Blue Monday. As a PR stunt that started in 2005, the day was given its name due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold dark nights and failure to maintain new year’s resolutions. While many of us can relate to the reasons given to the day, experiencing depression or mental health issues is not just something we should think about on 18 January, but on every day of the year and ask for help if we’re struggling.

Mental health is one of the greatest public health challenges in the UK, which has been impacted further due to COVID-19. The charity Mind, recently published the results of its survey that showed half of adults felt their wellbeing had worsened during 2020 and two thirds of young people said their mental health has been worse during the pandemic. Many of the people who took part said they were experiencing mental health problems for the first time. At the same time, the Office for National Statistics has said that rates of depression have doubled from around one in ten before the pandemic to almost one in five adults during the pandemic.

Many of us depend on social contact to help us stay well. Although we may not be able to see people in person as much as we’d like right now, it’s important to reach out as much as we can. A text, email, phone or video call can make all the difference. At Alcumus, health and wellbeing are really important to us and we have a range of support in place to help our people. Our team have access to an online Wellbeing Centre and Health Shield membership, as well as help from Mental Health First Aiders and taking part in regular mental health and wellbeing events and activities.

Your mental health and wellbeing matters

Here are some of the practical things we can all do to help our mental health and wellbeing:

  • Ask for help and use online resources that offer help and support, information and advice.
  • Encouraging people to connect over a virtual cuppa by hosting events like Brew Monday.
  • Catch up with family and friends on a call or virtual chat.
  • Take time out and relax like listening to music, reading a book, watching your favourite TV show or movie, drawing or painting.
  • Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how we feel mentally and physically, so it's important we get enough.
  • Being active and having a healthy, balanced diet all impact how we feel.
  • Do something you enjoy or try a new hobby or learn a new skill.
  • Acts of giving and kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing.
  • Mindfulness, meditation and relaxation techniques can help change how you feel and how you approach challenges.

Here are some helpful resources and links Samaritans, Mind, Rethink, Mental Health at Work, Action for Happiness, NHS Wellbeing, Wellbeing People, Winter Mental Health Tool Kit.

How Alcumus can help

Our HR experts at Alcumus PSM have teamed up with Life & Progress, who are mental health support and Employee Assistance Programmes specialists, to host a webinar on looking after your employee's wellbeing this winter. We’ve also put together a tool kit for employers to use so they can reconnect, support and engage with their workforce.

As an employer, you can support employees who are suffering from mental health issues and help towards removing mental health stigma. To find out more about how Alcumus PSMHR and Health and Safety specialists can help you promote wellbeing in the workplace, please contact a member of our specialist team on 01484 439930, email [email protected] or request a free consultation.