SOMERSET residents are encouraged to connect and be active to avoid the ‘Blue Monday’.

Somerset County Council is dispelling the myth that the third Monday in January, which this year will be on January 17, is the most difficult day of the year and is encouraging everyone to make it magnificent.

Post-Christmas bills, faltering New Year expectations, short days and bad weather have all contributed to the day being branded ‘Blue Monday’.

The Samaritans have organised ‘Brew Monday’ for the last few years to say it’s time to stop this myth about Monday being ‘blue’ and instead start a conversation over a brew.

Somerset County Council has always supported Brew Monday, but this year it is adding its own twist to help oust the myth.

They are offering some fun online activities for staff to take part in for free all under the theme of the five ways to wellbeing (to connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and to give) – and are encouraging other local organisations to do the same – to make the day a ‘Magnificent Monday’.

Staying healthy is as much about our minds as it is about our bodies. Activities the council is therefore offering will include, amongst others, disco bingo, laughing yoga, ‘would I lie to you’, and nature connections.

The council is therefore encouraging residents to virtually get in touch with their own friends or work colleagues for a cup of tea and a chat.

Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “We know there’s no such thing as ‘Blue Monday’ – we all have our good days and bad days, and they are not all on the same day.

“The post-Christmas slump and the rubbish January weather can all make us feel a bit deflated but let’s take this opportunity to take some time out, reach out to friends and colleagues and do something magnificent.”

Mindline offers a confidential listening service that 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, seven 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: A wealth of resources to help with anxiety and mental wellbeing can be found here: