Typically the third Monday of January, Blue Monday is considered the “most depressing day of the year”. This day marks the unfortunate convergence of post-holiday blues, gloomy weather, and abandoned New Year’s resolutions, thereby negatively impacting our mood and productivity. While its scientific veracity is questionable, the sentiment of feeling low in January is relatable for many! Recognising and addressing these feelings is crucial for maintaining a healthy workplace atmosphere.
In this blog, we delve into the nuances of Blue Monday and provide practical tips to assist your team in overcoming these challenges, and cultivating a positive and uplifting work atmosphere.
Beating Blue Monday blues
Finding joy in small things
Encourage your team to find joy in small, daily pleasures. This could be enjoying a delicious and hearty lunch, taking a moment to appreciate nature during a break, or relishing a favourite snack. By focusing on these simple actions, individuals can shift their mindset and create positive moments throughout the day.
Sharing a coffee with colleagues
Social interaction is a powerful antidote to the blues. Schedule informal coffee breaks where colleagues can chat, share experiences, and provide mutual support. Additionally, encourage reaching out to colleagues individually, either through a quick chat or a virtual meeting. Sometimes, a friendly conversation is all it takes to lift spirits and re-energise the soul.
Listening to music
Music has the power to influence mood significantly. Allow employees to wear earbuds or headphones at work, enabling them to create an environment of creativity and peace. Consider creating shared playlists that align with the team’s musical preferences, fostering a sense of unity through shared experiences.
Prioritising health and fitness
Physical activity is a proven mood booster. Encourage employees to take short breaks for a brisk walk, stretch, or even a quick workout. Consider implementing walking meetings, where discussions take place while strolling around the office or outdoors. This not only promotes fitness, but also provides a change of setting and stimulates creativity and engagement.
Organising your desktop
A cluttered workspace can contribute to feelings of overwhelm. Encourage your team to dedicate some time to organise their laptops and workstations. Clearing unnecessary files, sorting cluttered data into folders, and optimising the desktop layout using filing and archiving supplies can create a sense of order and control, positively impacting productivity and mental well-being.
Creating a positive work environment
Consider offering flexible work hours or remote work options where possible. Providing this freedom and flexibility acknowledges the diverse needs of your team members, allowing them to create a work routine that aligns with their personal preferences and responsibilities.
Implement wellness programs in coordination with the HR or learning and development departments that focus on mental health. This could include virtual mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, or workshops on stress management. By actively promoting mental wellness, you can foster a supportive work culture.
Recognition and appreciation
Regularly acknowledge and appreciate your team’s efforts. Publicly recognise achievements, milestones, or acts of kindness- perhaps with cards or small inexpensive treats. This creates a positive and appreciative atmosphere that boosts morale.
While Blue Monday may cast a temporary pall over the workplace, proactive measures can significantly uplift the collective mood. By fostering a culture of support, encouraging small joys, and providing tools for self-care, you can empower your team to navigate challenging days and maintain a positive work environment throughout the year. Remember, it’s the small, intentional actions that collectively make a substantial impact on employee well-being.