The idea that Blue Monday, the 3rd Monday in January is the most depressing day has taken hold in the last few years. Even though the science behind blue Monday is highly suspect! Many people do find the 3rd week of January depressing- the New Year’s resolutions have been broken or it’s very tough going and money is very tight until the end of the month.
So we thought we’d cheer you up by looking at some of the really positive things that are happening.
This was a major story in the last few years. Women standing up for themselves and calling out those in power, abusing that power by sexually assaulting women. It became a topic of conversation at tea breaks over lunch and for the first time many men became aware of the level of intimidation many women must face every day.
Change is happening at ground level
One highlight for me was a coffee break where one man stated woman were exaggerating about unwanted sexual innuendo. Every single woman from women in their 20’s to their 60’s put up their hand to say yes, they had been subjected to unwanted sexual remarks or physical contact at least once. The man was visibly shocked and hopefully he has a new take on the issue.
Women’s voices are becoming stronger
We had the horrific Belfast rape trial followed by further horrible questioning in a Cork trial where a woman was asked about the underwear she was wearing, showing rape myths are alive and well.
But now women are standing up for themselves. There were protests after the Belfast trial and Cork Trials. Jena Keating a Cork woman stood alone on Patrick Street in her underwear, with her mouth taped and ‘this is not consent’ written all over her body.
People starting hugging her (click here for video) and she really got the point across.
Brave Vicky Phelan has changed the face of Irish medicine and how women are perceived with her decision to campaign on cervical cancer screening.
We also had the campaigners for repeal persuading the people of Ireland to vote for abortion. Whatever your views about abortion, it always disturbed me that in a country which banned abortion we did not have a decent child care system and children often have to wait years for health treatment. Maybe now we’re a little less hypocritical.
Another highlight for me was seeing Emmet Kirwan’s video showing one woman’s life, it covered so many different important topics. (click here)
The backlash against alcohol begins
At long last, we’re beginning to see more people starting to question our attitude to alcohol
The well-known commentator Adrian Childs documentary talking about his relationship with alcohol.
BBB news talking about resisting “drink pushers” during the festive season
The Irish media even got in on the act saying Merry Christmas cards showing alcohol give the wrong message about alcohol.
A pub without alcohol
We even have Ireland’s first ever permanent pub without alcohol coming. Hopefully opening in February.
There’s also a few other pubs. All In Dublin as far as I know, but they just have alcohol free sessions. Now if they could just reduce the price of alcohol free drinks!
Addiction services starting to change
Finally the horrible practise of bullying and insulting people with alcohol problems is now starting to be challenged. This article appeared in the Irish Times. This practise has no benefit in treatment so avoid any treatment that includes this approach.
Public Health Alcohol Bill
A major achievement was the passing of the Public Health Alcohol Bill. Despite powerful lobbying the bill finally passed. Now the Government just has to implement it.
Blue Monday is not so blue
So yes, we’ve still a long way to go, this Blue Monday but finally Irish society is beginning to change. so don’t give up hope. Change is always possible. If you’re feeling a bit Blue Monday why not look back on the last year and see if you can find five memories or events that made you happy.