January is depressing.
Typically, for Britons after the festive season, it's a time to be cold, wet and broke. Getting up to go to work on Blue Monday, the third Monday of the month, when there's little to look forward to, is a grim business. This isn't trivial – psychologist Dr Carole Schuster says, "One in six British workers experience stress anxiety or depression. Stress is a real problem, that itself is costing our economy billions of pounds." Add to that the bleakness of January weather and the near-universal financial woes caused by the festive season and you've got a recipe for national misery.
But there is a solution!
We suggest that an extra public holiday in January would impact positively on the nation and help to solve this problem.
Heat believes in making people happy. An extra day off in the darkest month of the year would make us happy, but that's not enough. We think a day like that ought to be earned, and that there's greater joy in giving than getting. So, if the Government were to make "Blue Monday" an official public holiday, we, the undersigned, will pledge to make someone else happy on that day. Whether it's driving an elderly neighbour to visit friends; volunteering with a local community group; or just doing something to make our families and friends happy, let's all put our work worries aside for one day, think of each other and work together to make January the happiest month of the year!