Depression: much more than a Blue Monday

Noreen Shami - Chartered & Registered Forensic PsychologistWe are approaching what some experts argue is the most depressing day of the year. The media have coined the phrase Blue Monday which was first introduced back in 2005.

Depression is much more than a Blue Monday or feeling unhappy and fed up for a few days. It can be argued that Blue Monday is trivialising a serious condition. It’s claimed that a combination of post-Christmas debt, poor weather and failed attempts at New Year’s resolutions are the cause of the day’s creation, it’s said to take place in the UK on the third Monday of January.

Our Chartered and Forensic Psychologist Noreen Shami has this to say:

“January can feel like a long month, especially after the festive break and finally getting back into our normal routines. Several factors that occur at this time of year can leave some people low in mood. For most, this is a temporary occurrence, and it will pass, but I wanted to share with you my top three tips to improve your mood and beat Blue Monday.”

Paying more attention to the present moment and the world around you can help your mental wellbeing. Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts and feelings can have a really positive impact.

You could also try mindfulness of the breath, set some time to focus your attention on your breath in your daily life, it might sound simple but this can help with stress, anxiety and negative emotions.

Mindfulness is linked with greater well-being, and perceived health, and can reduce over-thinking and worry.

Low mood can leave you feeling low in energy which might put you off being more active. Try doing something you enjoy; many experts agree this can help you feel happier.

Go out for a coffee or chat to a friend or family member, according to a recent study by University College Dublin this can reduce the symptoms of depression.

Social support, in the form of family, friends and social groups is strongly associated with reduced psychological distress. In particular, social support can help prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve mental health.


Mental illness is much more than a Blue Monday. We provide 24 hour care and support in our award winning mental health rehabilitation units based in the West Midlands. The service is for both men and women (18 – 65) with severe and enduring mental illness, mild learning disabilities as well as patients with forensic histories.

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