By Gerard Barnes | UPDATED: 14:28, 17 January 2020
Christmas and New Year celebrations have very much become a thing of the past, and Britain is now mired in the January Blues as we head towards Blue Monday – the third Monday of January and supposedly one of the most depressing days of the year.
Now, depression and mental health treatment specialists Smart TMS have published brand new research conducted in January 2020, which reveals a shocking insight into just how much our mental health suffers in January:
1 in 3 Brits (32%) report a significant decline in enjoyment and satisfaction at work in January
1 in 4 Brits (25%) said they find themselves regularly cancelling plans more often so they don’t have to interact with other people
Almost 1 in 4 (24%) find even basic functions (e.g. sleeping, showering) more difficult
Over half (58%) have witnessed a friend, family member or acquaintance experience a significant deterioration in mental and physical health as a result of alcohol, smoking or drug use over Christmas and the month of January
1 in 5 (25%) of Brits say they are too busy to see a medical professional regarding their mental health
The stress of increased financial pressure from Christmas debts, extended period between paychecks, the long winter nights and the mounting pressure at work are just some of the reasons which are likely to have contributed to such a decline in mental health. However, irrespective of the root causes, it is abundantly clear that the mental health of the UK is strained further than ever in the latter stages of January.
Gerard Barnes, CEO of Smart TMS, discusses what this startling research means for our mental health, and gives insight into how people can overcome Blue Monday and protect their mental health throughout the rest of January.
“January is a difficult time for many people, but Blue Monday and the remaining days of January which follow are some of the toughest of the year, and our research shows a significant increase in markers of depression and other mental health problems throughout the month, particularly in the final weeks and days.
As Blue Monday approaches, it may seem for many that the end of the month, and the much-needed paycheck and respite that comes with it, is still far out of reach. In this time, it is essential that people resist the temptation to fall back on trusted vices such as smoking, drinking and gambling. This is often one of the most destructive habits, and one which we see regularly in January as people struggle to cope with the stress. What’s more, with the short winter days and the increased workplace pressure that often manifests in January, I would say that it is more vital than ever to take a proper lunch break, get out and walk around in the daylight. It may not seem like much, but exposing yourself to the fresh air, elements and maybe even some sunlight will make a significant difference to the working day and your general happiness.
We ask that people keep a watchful eye on their mental health, and encourage everyone to take an active role in improving their own health and happiness. However, if you have significant concerns over your mental health no matter what you do, we strongly encourage you to seek help and speak up. At Smart TMS, we use technology to treat a range of mental health problems, but regardless of the issues you are experiencing, there are services available and specialists ready to listen to you and find you the help you deserve.”