Posted: January 18, 2019

Today is Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year… or is it? Did you know that Blue Monday was originally created by a holiday company? It has no actual research behind it, simply based upon the weather and post-Christmas debt.

It amazes me that we can be influenced to feel depressed on a certain day of the year. Mental health is a serious concern that effects thousands of people every day across the UK. There is a good chance that you or someone in your team is struggling today.

This Blue Monday we think we should work together to #beatbluemonday. If you are not sure where to start, here are a few ideas from the blueskies team. 
Time to talk – recognise that this is a difficult time for some people and provide opportunity to talk. Perhaps down tools half an hour early and head to the pub, or nip out for a coffee. Encouraging them to open up about why they may be feeling flat, make it a discussion point and most importantly listen to what is being said. The Samaritans recently renamed the day 'Brew Monday' encouraging people to talk.
Work together - ask the team for ideas on #beatbluemonday. Bringing to light the most depressing day of the year you might gain some insight into what people are really thinking and feeling and may even get some suggestions to uplift the mood and get the ‘vibe’ back to the workplace.

Look to the future - rather than focusing on the fact that the party season is behind you and decorating that Christmas tree is a distant blurred memory - focus on what’s next. January is an ideal time to look at the exciting times ahead. Whether it’s a family holiday or springtime work bash get the calendars updated and start spreading the news.
Financial incentive - your team maybe feeling the pinch of Christmas. Let’s face it, we all spend way more than we want to. You could consider setting ad-hoc incentives to the team – a target based cash bonus or vouchers would go down well this time of year.
Get moving – encourage your team to take a walk or jog, get some fresh air and the endorphins flowing.
Take it easy - You would hope and expect employees to come back to work feeling refreshed and raring to go but this isn’t always the case. Accept that motivation levels could be low, and some may not hit the ground running. Consider if you could slow the added pressure of looming deadlines and increased workloads.
Be kind - mental health is important all year round but especially so as we feel the January blues. Why not make wellbeing your focus for the month or even better the year!
Remember, you’re in control here, not a UK travel company! Your actions impact your team and your culture sets the tone for workplace wellbeing. Don’t be pushed around by #bluemonday but take the opportunity to promote wellbeing and mental health awareness because in reality it matters everyday.
If you would like further information on this topic our partner Springfield mind has information on mental health issues as well as wellbeing in the workplace training.


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