Today is Blue Monday (18th January 2021, the third Monday of the year) and it is said to be the most gloomy day of the year as the unfortunate mix of bad weather, not seeing families over Christmas, failing New Year’s resolutions, poor morale, and the week before payday all hits at once.

As the entire UK is under strict lockdown rules as Covid-19 continues to spread rapidly across the country, this year’s could prove to be the bluest Monday yet.

There’s no question that the feeling of disappointment may be caused by the start of a new year. For others, because of the circumstances they find themselves in, it would be a renewed feeling of loss, exhaustion, hopelessness or desperation.

For some, your outlook can also be bleak if you work from home when you are trapped between the same four walls for the better part of every day.

To help you beat the Blue Monday blues, here are Castle’s top tips.

A black and white image of a man looking upset with his head in his hands.

What Is Blue Monday?

The first Blue Monday recorded by a PR company was conceived and came on January 24th 2005, and has now become an annual occurrence.

It is determined in a mathematical formula using the following variables, although not very scientific:

  • Weather
  • Debt level (specifically, the difference between debt and our ability to pay)
  • Amount of time since Christmas
  • Time since failing our new year’s resolutions
  • Low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation.

Blue Monday’s theory should not be taken too seriously because it has no empirical research basis, and feeling ‘depressed’ should not be mistaken. We can all get the blues from time to time, and say that we feel ‘depressed,’ but true depression is far more intense and truly crippling.

Mental health charity Mind said in a statement: “Here at Mind, we think it’s [Blue Monday] dangerously misleading. Those of us who live with depression know that those feelings aren’t dictated by the date.

“Implying that they are perpetuating the myth that depression is just ‘feeling a bit down, something that doesn’t need to be taken seriously.”

Get in contact with Mind on 0330 123 3393 or text 86463 if you feel like you may be suffering from depression.

If you feel like you’re suffering from the back to work blues and the current lockdown measures, here are a few steps you can take to make life a little easier…

Get Some Fresh Air

The last thing you’ll feel like doing is walking outdoors when it’s gloomy, damp and just uncomfortable, but it might potentially be the best thing for you. So if you feel worn down, or have cabin fever, then try to get some fresh air, no matter how cold, as it could be exactly what you need to clear your head and get back on track.

A child on a hike wearing a blue coat and a facemask

Stay Active

It’s important for both your mental and physical well-being to get adequate exercise and be healthy. It will help to boost your morale and overall well-being and help you feel better about yourself by remaining healthy. Doing something that you love is one of the most valuable things. The positive news is that something that pushes your body will be helpful, so you don’t have to spend hours at the gym or run a marathon to feel the rewards of being involved. It can even help to walk the dog or find places to go for a stroll in your area.

While lockdown measures mean that we’re restricted to how far we can go, you could do an at-home workout if you are feeling up to the challenge. Or even go for a stroll through your local neighbourhood, which will give you a much-needed boost of vitamin D and fresh air.

A person wearing Nike shoes while stretching preparing to go on a run.

Prioritise Sleep

Prioritising your sleep is so critical. A lack of sleep can influence how physically and psychologically you feel, but we all know that it can be hard to sleep well when we have a lot on our minds. To try to make adjustments to your sleep efficiency, there are several modifications you can make.

Getting into a regular routine will help; it is much easier to make sure you relax with a warm bath before bedtime, reading a book, listening to a meditation app or some music than browsing through your phone-as tempting as it can be!


A ginger cat sleeping.

Find Your Balance

Planning your days will help you feel more in control of things if you feel like you have a lot on your mind. Writing lists, prioritising projects and setting goals will help to achieve a clearer mind and enable you to take control. When we’re hesitant to do them, it is also easy to put things off, but taking initiative can be very beneficial.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support, too; friends, relatives and peers may all be able to help you out. It can feel like you don’t have time to sit and schedule your day while you’re working. But it will really help to take ten minutes to chat about what’s overwhelming you with your boss or a colleague. The old saying “a shared problem is a problem halved” can be really helpful!

Sometimes, other individuals may help you determine what important responsibilities you need to complete first and other tasks that can be deferred or delegated.

Go outside for a brief stroll if you can, or call someone at lunchtime for a chat to make sure you get away from your desk. This especially important if you are working from home, as it can be tough to stay motivated.

Above all, be kind to yourself. It’s impossible to do everything perfectly, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you don’t get everything done.

A person whiting on a notepad with a cup of coffee beside them.

Share Your Thoughts And Problems

If you are concerned about how you are dealing with your mental health, it might be beneficial to make an appointment with your GP – there may be someone at the practice that has experience in mental health.

Keeping a mood diary can be useful in keeping track of how you feel or writing down a list of things you would like to chat about so that you can get the best out of your appointment with your GP, therapist, family member or friend.

Two people having a discussion and sharing their thoughts.

Useful NHS websites such as Every Mind Matters can also be used. This website offers positive, useful tips for treating problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Taking time out is good, but be careful not to detach yourself. If you’re dealing with your mental health, friends and family may also be a tremendous source of support.

If someone begins a talk with you today about their mental wellbeing, don’t ignore it, because Blue Monday means that everybody is a little sad. Every day of the year, we need to look after our mental wellbeing.