It's Blue Monday but take time to focus the 'good times to come' says Kettering psychotherapist

Blue Monday usually falls on the third Monday of January, and is considered the most 'depressing' day on the calendar.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 10:02 am

‘Blue Monday’, the most depressing day of the year - it’s the day when the financial pressure of the Christmas just passed hangs over us most, the weather is at its worst, and the extra pounds we’ve acquired over the holiday season are proving harder to shift than we anticipated.

Kettering psychotherapist Thomasin James, founder of Makepeace House psychotherapy centre, has shared her thoughts on Blue Monday.

She said: "So apparently today is the most depressing day of the year. Given that this has got to be one of the most miserable Januarys on record, on the back of an unspeakably awful 2020, during lockdown three and amid peak pandemic panic, how is anyone coping at all?

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"Many are reaching out to GPs, with antidepressant use in England now at an all time high. Mental health services are increasingly busy. But the truth? Plenty of us aren’t always coping. Far from it.

"Psychotherapists are no more immune to low mood, anxiety or depression than the next person.

"Last week, as I juggled home-schooling my small children, home life, worries about vulnerable friends and family, and a busy private practice, I found myself hiding in the loo by the end of the week, quietly sobbing into Whatsapp. It was lunchtime and I hadn’t even found time to have a shower. Looking after myself had come really far down my list of priorities.

"If ever you’ve flown anywhere - remember international holidays?- you will know that during the in-flight safety talk, cabin crew instruct parents to put on their own oxygen masks before helping their children.

Thomasin James

"Why? Because we cannot help those who depend on us, if we haven’t first looked after ourselves.

"Last week, I dug myself out of my depressive hole. I took a shower. I did show and tell online with my four-year-old and his wonderful class.

"I ate some food, whacked on a face mask, and wrote this article - yes, all at the same time. I focused on vaccinations and on good times to come. I cannot deny that the hope of being beyond the worst of this by spring is all that keeps me going, some days.

"I looked after myself. I connected with people. I took part in activities I enjoy.

"As a psychotherapist, I am supposed to keep my boundaries up and not let people know about how I’m feeling. The work is about the client and a professional distance should be kept, so that not too much is disclosed about my private life. It’s not about me – it’s about you. But Covid changes everything. If you want to come and scream at me for an hour about how awful life is right now, know that I am there, right alongside you. I get it.

"We are all human. We are all in this together. If you need to speak to someone, reach out to us at Makepeace House.

If you’d like to join our online communities on Facebook and Instagram, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/MakepeaceHouse/ and https://www.instagram.com/makepeace_house/.

"It’s a friendly space for a bit of support during these testing times. It’s vital to connect during the most isolated period in living memory."