Blue Monday, which falls on 17 January this year, is often thought to be the most difficult day of the year.

Periods of low mood and depression can affect anyone at any time. In the UK, one in five adults have experienced a form of depression, and in the workplace one in six workers experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time.

Depression is a serious condition that can affect people at any time of the year and day.

Similarly to depression, January blues at the beginning of a new year can manifest with symptoms of low mood, sadness, lack of energy and motivation, anxiety and low libido. The difference between January blues and depression is that January blues tend to last a maximum of a few weeks because of factors at this time of year. Some people find that establishing their routines after the holiday season lifts their mood.

The factors that may cause a decline in mood in January include:

  • Reduced daylight hours
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Financial worries following Christmas
  • A challenging holiday period due to loss, loneliness or estrangement
  • Returning to work
  • Pressure of New Year’s resolutions

What can help?

  • Talking to someone – a helpful treatment for low mood is to discuss how you are feeling with others
  • Exercise – exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health
  • Practising mindfulness – it has been proven to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety
  • Practising gratitude – this can help improve mood, make you more optimistic and improve your social interactions
  • Remember to practise self-care
  • Contact Keeping Well – whatever support you need, we are here for you


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