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We're banishing Blue Monday in favour of You Monday

18th Jan 2021

We're calling on everyone to “follow the science” and banish the so-called saddest day of the year – Blue Monday – from your calendar.

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With the pandemic placing such a big strain on people’s mental health, our charity is urging everyone to ignore the pseudo-science of Blue Monday. Instead we're rebranding the day as “You Monday”, with the aim of drawing awareness to the importance of taking practical steps to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic.

On Monday 18 January, we'll devote the day to promoting tips on mental health and wellbeing, with the hashtag #YouMonday, and invite others to share practical ways they can manage mental health during the current lockdown.

People with blood cancer have spent much of the pandemic isolated from others. During the first lockdown, our survey of 1,077 people found that over half of people shielding reported struggling with their mental health, with nearly one in 10 saying the impact was severe.

It also found that, three out of four (75 per cent) of the 605 friends and family members who took part in the survey said that supporting a person with blood cancer during the pandemic had increased their levels of stress.

As this fresh lockdown encompasses the winter months, and with daylight scarce, this presents even more of a mental health challenge to people shielding.

It is not just people affected by blood cancer. The latest Office of National Statistics data shows that between December 22 and January 3, 53 per cent of people said the coronavirus was affecting their wellbeing; 26 per cent said they feel lonely at least some of the time; and 33 per cent reported high levels of anxiety.

That's why we want Monday, January 18 to be a day when people focus on taking practical steps to improve their wellbeing, and share with others to give them ideas for how they can do it.

Kate Keightley, our Head of Information and Support Services said:

“From the calls our support services have received in January, it’s clear that people with blood cancer are really struggling right now.

“Not seeing friends and family over Christmas was especially tough on people with blood cancer who have already been shielding so long. Given the high risk of serious consequences coronavirus poses to people with blood cancer, they are likely to have to continue shielding for some time to come.

“That’s why it’s so important that we look after our mental health. Whether it’s taking time out of the day to de-stress, going out for a walk, or varying up your daily routine – there are many ways to cope with the strain of lockdown.

“On #YouMonday I hope social media can be a space for people to share their tips and enable people to reach out to others in the same boat. And of course, our support services remain open for people affected by blood cancer to talk to during these difficult times.”

Dawn, support line worker

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