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Count your blessings on Blue Monday

The Diocese of Carlisle is trying to help banish the blues with a smile on what’s considered the most depressing day of the year.

 

Today (20 January) is known by some as ‘Blue Monday’ and has previously been identified as the gloomiest day.

Now the Diocese wants people to share a smile to help spread the message of Christian love, kindness and togetherness.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome, and Bishop of Penrith, the Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman and their colleagues have pledged to make the effort to smile at people on ‘Blue Monday’.

And they’re calling on other clergy and congregation members across the Diocese to do the same.

It comes as a specially commissioned YouGov survey for the Church of England says that nine out of 10 people will be counting their blessings on ‘Blue Monday’.

More than half said being thankful for family and partners was their top blessing followed by health.

@c_of_e is asking twitter followers to tweet their blessings today using the hashtag #countyourblessings

As well as tweeting, clergy and parishioners across the Diocese are also being encouraged to smile at people more on the day.

The Ven Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of West Cumberland, said: “It’s no surprise to find that ‘Blue Monday’ originated as a piece of PR puff and this is reinforced by the poll results.

“Happiness comes when we stop living our lives just for ourselves. The importance of family and partners highlights that when we are loved and show love it begins to make a difference to how we live and how we view the world.

“No wonder that the Christian faith places the self-giving love of Jesus at its heart. God can always provide affirmation even when the still important human affirmation lets us down.

”A smile is a simple thing to do. It costs nothing but it can lift spirits and reinforce the Christian message that we’re all loved and should show love and respect to one another.”

The research also shows that the proportion counting their blessings every day increases with age, with one third of those aged 55+ counting their blessings every day, compared to one in six of those aged 18-24. Women tend to feel more tired, depressed and overweight than men in January but on the other hand women are far more likely than men to count their blessings once a week or more often.

In a Church of England video also released today http://bit.ly/1d54k7d, Christian writer and broadcaster Brian Draper, talks about the “low ebb” of ‘Blue Monday’ when the Christmas-shopping credit card bills roll in and the days are long and gloomy.

Rather than fast-forwarding, he asks how can we pause instead, to make the most of this time of year? He suggests giving a hug or helping hand or performing a random act of kindness to a stranger like paying for coffee or simply smiling as you pass someone.


Notes for editors
The full research can be found at www.churchofengland.org/media/1909453/blue%20monday%20yougov%20survey.xlsx

More information on Brian Draper at www.briandraper.org


ends

 

 

For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434, 01228 560079 or at carlisledco@gmail.com.

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