Brew up and beat the ‘Blue Monday’ blues

NEXT Monday, the third in January, is often dubbed as ‘Blue Monday’ – the most depressing day of the year.

And to tackle the challenges presented by this time of year the Samaritans are kicking off a ‘Brew Monday’ campaign, supported by Somerset County Council.

The idea is to raise awareness of the positive things you can do to support your emotional health – by encouraging people to get together over a warming virtual ‘cuppa’.

A council spokesperson said: “The months since the pandemic arrived have been difficult. With the start of another national lockdown, we are all feeling the pressure that comes with coronavirus, so, now more than ever, sharing a ‘cuppa’ is more than a drink – it’s about making contact, checking in and staying connected.

“The council is asking everyone to join them this ‘Brew Monday’ by reaching out to someone for a virtual ‘cuppa’ and a chat.

“It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, just taking time to really listen to another person could help them work through what’s on their mind.”

Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland are hosting their own virtual Brew Monday events to help people learn how to be better listeners.

For more information on Samaritans Brew Monday visit:

https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/brew-monday/.

You could make a donation while you’re there, which could help save a life.

Cllr Clare Paul, Somerset County Council’s member responsible for health and wellbeing, said: “This is such a simple idea, that could make a real difference, at a time when we all need a lift. It has been such a difficult time lately and I know many people are feeling anxious about what is happening in the world.

“I will be contacting people for a virtual ‘cuppa’ and a chat – I know it will do me good and them. I do hope everyone will spare a little time on Monday to pass this goodwill on.”

If you are feeling anxious or depressed Mindline offer a confidential listening service which provides a safe place to talk if you, or someone you know, is in distress.

They can also give basic information about mental health and local support services.

The service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted on 01823 276 892

Every Mind Matters also have a  practical and easy to use guide, including a Mind quiz to help people make a Mind Plan: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/ and a wealth of resources to help with anxiety and mental wellbeing can be found here: https://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/covid-19/happy/

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