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Making The Blues A Bit Brighter

Blue Monday, the third Monday in January is said to be the saddest, most depressing day of the year. Here in the northern hemisphere, it’s dark, the weather is usually awful, the happiness one may have felt from the holidays has worn off, and most people’s New Year’s resolutions have already been broken. Add a pandemic into the mix and it could be a really difficult day – especially for someone who already lives with mental health challenges.

At Centennial Place, a mental health clubhouse in Mission whose services are facilitated by Communitas, the staff and members decided to turn Blue Monday into Blue Week and make it a celebration.

Riffing off of the “Blue” theme, they chose water as a theme for the week

“We’ve worked at creating ways to bring some learning and light heartedness to the week.  Every year we choose a different theme and create events related to the idea,” says manager, Tim Rempel. “It’s something we’ve been doing for 6 years and it really makes a difference to the people we serve.”

A walk along the Fraser river is one of the activities planned for the week.

The theme this year is focused around water (often depicted as blue) and its healing properties. Extra activities are planned for the week that encourage a refocus on the positive. Members will be able to take a walk along the Fraser River, meditate to recorded sounds of the ocean, take part in a water-themed art class, and more. With the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, focusing on what is positive and doing activities safely together is essential to the mental health of clubhouse members.

“The pandemic has been a long haul for all of us and we are working to find ways to encourage and engage in self-care activities,” Tim reflects. “We’re always inspired by our members, by their resilience, their presence and the creative ways they come together to support each other.”

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