January Blues are Real: 1 in 5 Brits report regularly cancelling social plans due to mounting social anxiety

As Christmas and New Year celebrations come to an end and people head back to work, the January Blues have come forward in full force. Stress of increased financial pressure from Christmas debts and emotions running low from failed New Year’s resolutions, it is no surprise that many Britons are struggling with their mental health.

This has been characterised by reports of increased isolation, social anxiety and indulgence in destructive vices over the Christmas period and into January.

The failure rate of most New Year’s resolutions is shocking; recent studies give a failure rate of between 75% and 85% before the end of January, while mid-February sees a drop-out rate of between 90-95%. Those who have a history of drug and alcohol addiction are at particular risk during the January Blues, as temptation to imbibe increases due to the inevitable emotional crash people feel after the festive season. Mental health treatment specialists Smart TMS now reveal the extent of the effect of January Blues on people across the country:

  • 1 in 3 Brits (32%) report a significant decline in enjoyment and satisfaction at work
  • 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
  • 1 in 5 (25%) of Brits say they are too busy to see a medical professional regarding their mental health

Gerard Barnes is the CEO of Smart TMS, the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of TMS therapy to treat a range of mental health problems including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD. Here, Gerard discusses the impact of January Blues and gives an insight into how people can manage during this difficult time of year.

“This time of year is difficult for so many people, and it is so important for people to be able to combat their mental health in their own way. Failed resolutions are not the end of the world; slow and steady really does win the race – some setbacks are okay. Making small but consistent improvements is both more realistic and more sustainable than attempting a total personal revolution.

“As we see increased cases of depression and mental health ailments during the January Blues, another tip would to be to try and not fall back to trusted vices. This hinders the attempts of millions to start their new health regimes in the New Year. Furthermore, we find that addiction overpowers people during this period as people look to relieve the stress that the winter months, and particularly the New Year, bring.

“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.”