The Christmas decorations are back in the loft, the tub of chocolates that resided in the lounge throughout December has been evicted and the Buck’s Fizz has been replaced for green smoothies. Yes, the festive period is well and truly over.
We’re back in work, dreaming of warmer days, most of us on a fitness regime trying to shed the pounds gained and we’re waiting for pay day until our bank balance will also be healthier.
And to top it all off, we’re approaching the most depressing day of the year – 20th January, Blue Monday.
Fact or fiction?
For well over a decade we’ve been used to seeing the many articles and advice on the phenomenon that arrives on the third Monday of January each year. But, as some charities and organisations urge, there are concerns that awarding this title to one day belittles the experiences of those living with serious mental health illnesses, it really shouldn’t be a day to dread.
Whilst January genuinely can be a tough time for some, Blue Monday was conceived as part of a marketing campaign for a travel company who were looking to boost holiday sales.
Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnell, who worked with Sky Travel on the campaign back in 2005, developed a ‘scientific formula’ considering various factors including debt, weather, time since Christmas, time since failing New Year’s resolutions and motivational levels to determine which day in January would be the gloomiest.
Despite the complex theory that originated, many argue there isn’t anything scientific about it at all and Dr Arnell has since said how he was originally asked to come up with what he thought would be the best day to book a summer holiday.
More recently Arnell admitted how he regrets developing the concept and that the sentiment that’s lingered from Blue Monday’s conception was never his intention.
With all this in mind, we’re sharing tips on how to turn it around from a day to loathe to a day to love.
So long Blue Monday…
1 Look ahead
January is a great time to make any big decisions for the year ahead, so use the day positively to plan your goals. Either in your teams, or for your own role, think about what you want to achieve in 2020 and set realistic timescales.
2 Make positive connections
Building good relationships and having positive interactions can be a known mood booster, improving morale and increasing work satisfaction. Is there someone in the office that you don’t know that well? Or perhaps there’s a colleague you admire and would like to learn from. Take some time out in the day to chat and get to know them or suggest grabbing a coffee in one of our breakout spaces.
3 Your physical environment
The physical environment has a major impact on our happiness and moods to our productivity and focus. Take steps to make your space in the workplace one that works well for you. Remove any clutter from your desk that may affect your thinking or see if there are any changes you can make across the office to boost moods. Perhaps bring in some plants – research shows that being connected to nature can improve health and wellbeing and can help people concentrate, leading to increased productivity.
4 Personal development
As well as looking at goals you want to achieve in your role throughout the year, think about what other areas you may want to develop in. Step outside of your normal tasks and use the day to learn something new. This can be a day to love, so perhaps it’s time to take up a passion project you’ve been thinking of.
5 Pay it forward
A simple remedy to boost moods is a kindness initiative known around the globe as ‘paying it forward’. Brighten someone’s day by complimenting a colleague or carry out another kind act and improve your own positivity – how about bringing in some donuts or homemade treats to share with your fellow Thrive members?
So, there you have it – Blue Monday doesn’t have to be a day to loathe, but a day to love.
Want to read more about wellbeing in the workplace? Discover how technology can be utilised to boost employee happiness and our tips for achieving a healthy work-life balance.Category - Blog