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Centennial Place Goes Zen for Blue Monday

January can be hard, especially for people who struggle with their mental health. Blue Monday – the third Monday of January – is purported to be the saddest, most depressing day of the year. That’s why the members of Centennial Place make sure that whole week in January has a positive focus.

Centennial Place
Centennial Place is the mental health clubhouse in Mission facilitated by Communitas

Centennial Place is a mental health clubhouse in Mission facilitated by Communitas. Krystina Hetherington is the manager at Centennial Place where plans for Blue Week are an important tradition.

“Blue Week tends to be a time where people’s mental health is at a low point,” she says. “The weather is still gloomy, Christmas is over and spring seems far away. It is important to help people continue to have a positive outlook.”

Each year, clubhouse members choose a theme for Blue Week; this year, their theme is “Zen”. Activities will give members opportunities to reduce stress and to take moments throughout the week to pause and reflect. There are also activities focused on exercise, creativity, and community.

Zen Garden Diy
Creating a mini Zen garden is one way to create inner calm

Members will have a chance to create their own mini Zen Garden, tour the Buddhist meditation centre in Mission, take a workshop on Finding Your Zen, enjoy a visit with a Therapy Dog, and much more.

Centennial Place Cafe
The new Coffee Bar will give people valuable employment skills.

“We’re also introducing a new Coffee Bar program with free coffee or tea and a muffin available on Blue Monday,” she says.

The Coffee Bar will be a volunteer training program that gives members customer service and money handling skills. Participants will also have the opportunity to access Food Safe, Super Host and Serving it Right training.

Members of the clubhouse say that focusing on Blue Week is important for their mental health during this dark and sometimes dreary season. One member is particularly looking forward to visiting the Buddhist meditation centre. Another commented that the whole week is a “pick me up” that they look forward to each year.

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