Across a difficult year, there have been many days where we have been left feeling a little down.

The coronavirus crisis, and the restrictions on daily life it brings, has impacted negatively on our mental health.

But Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.

It is typically the third Monday of the month and this year falls on Monday, January 20.

The concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel.

The firm claimed to have calculated the date using an equation.

But scientists suggest it is nonsensical and mental health charities claim it belittles depression and other mental illness.

What do the mental health charities say?

Mind has spent years dispelling the myth around Blue Monday.

It says depression is a serious condition which can affect people on any day.

Mind’s Head of Information Stephen Buckley has previously said Blue Monday contributes to "damaging misconceptions" about depression and "trivialises an illness that can be life threatening."

He said: “There is no credible evidence to suggest that one day in particular can increase the risk of people feeling depressed.

"There are of course certain things that may make people feel down at this time of year, such as post-Christmas financial strains, broken New Year’s resolutions, bad weather and short daylight hours. However, depression is not just a one day event."

Last year the Samaritans launched Brew Monday.

It encourages people to get together to connect over a warming cuppa and a good conversation.

The fundraiser has returned for 2020.

Who can I contact if I am feeling down?

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123.

You can also email

Mind has a help line which can be reached by calling 0300 123 3393.

You can also email or text 86463.

You can also visit Mind's website here.

Tips on how to relax

Eight tips for relaxation if you are feeling anxious from Mind.

  • Take a break - just stepping away from something stressful for a few minutes or taking time away from your normal routines and thoughts can give you enough space and distance to feel calmer
  • Focus on your breathing - learning to breathe more deeply can help you feel a lot calmer
  • Spend time in nature - spending time outside and in green spaces can be great for your physical and mental health
  • Do a tech check - technology can be great for helping you feel connected, but if you’re using it a lot then it can contribute to making you feel busy and stressed
  • Try active relaxation - relaxation doesn’t have to mean sitting still – gentle exercise can help you relax too
  • Get creative - getting in touch with your artistic side can help you feel more calm and relaxed
  • Listen to music - music can relax you, connect you to your emotions and distract you from worrying thoughts
  • Picture yourself somewhere serene - even if you can’t physically get away, your imagination can transport you to somewhere you feel calm