In the last decade, the third Monday of January has been referred to as “Blue Monday”, notoriously thought to be the most depressing day of the year. In the northern hemisphere, this concept draws its context from the dark winter days, the post-Christmas come down and the overarching feeling that the summer will never arrive. January is often a time of loneliness for people, with many retreating inside their homes, to stave off the cold and resist the temptations of the outside world that may cause them to break newly made resolutions. January is also notorious for seasonal affective disorder, appropriately abbreviated to SAD, which is a type of depression known as “winter depression” that comes and goes seasonally.
Like many elements of life, it all depends on how you deal with it. We can feed into the darkness, loneliness and negativity or we can try and spin some positivity from it. This year, in particular, the global pandemic and lockdowns have made it more difficult to see the light at the end of January, or even Spring for that matter. Feeling alone and marginalized from society, can be detrimental to mental health and overall feelings of wellness. For this reason, “Blue Monday” has been given a new lease of life this year as “Brew Monday”. The idea is to encourage people to reach out to others for a cup of tea and a chat. We’re all suffering from Zoom fatigue but it’s important to continue the effort for our own well-being.
The wonders that can be done by a cup of tea and chat have been explored in many healthcare and social settings. A group of patients at Leighton Hospital in Crewe showed increased levels of mental positivity with the introduction of a “tea and chat” session twice weekly. A study has also shown that over 85s who drink five cups of tea a day experience increased focus and prolonged attention span( for the all important chatting).In Ireland, if you visit a household and refuse a cup of tea, you are sure to get one anyway. Culturally, the Irish see tea is a conversation starter, giving people a chance to sit and listen to one another.
At Aspirico, our care management software is focused on person centred outcomes but also tracks simple day to day achievements like making cups of tea. However, we know it’s not just a cup of tea, it’s a daily ritual, a conversation starter, a winter comfort, and a symbol of normality. Share a connection with others this Brew Monday and banish those winter blues!