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Ways to boost positivity in the workplace this Blue Monday

Next Monday is Blue Monday[i]– the most depressing day of the year – according to a piece of pseudo-science which calculates this as the third Monday in January using the equation below.

The variables are: W=weather, D=debt, d=monthly salary, T=time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action.

A platform 

The variables are common concerns, but the calculation is nonsensical as you can’t add, divide or subtract different things like weather and debt and produce a result which is a date.  They ring true as by mid-January most people are either worried about finance, fed up with the cold and dark, struggling with motivation or all of the above. And the wider phenomenon of the “January Blues” appears to have a slightly firmer scientific basis. While the science of Blue Monday may be dubious the message is not, making it a good platform to start a conversation or make an intervention to support employees.

Fun is a serious business

One of our clients is using the day as a platform to deliver a series of short, cheerful programmes as an antidote to Blue Monday.

Alongside their comprehensive well-being programme, they want to do something fun. We have designed a few short high impact, and highly participative sessions (adapted this time for Blue Monday), that engage participants in identifying simple actions they can take to make their own, and other people’s days more enjoyable.

 Five simple actions to make the working day more enjoyable

 We know fun – or lack of it – can be a serious business, but regular attention to the small things can make a big difference. We thought we’d share five of our favourite actions you can take to make the working day more enjoyable. Naturally they can be applied to every day of the week and year!

  • For one week, when something good happens, let someone else break the news.
  • Give a colleague you haven’t worked with much 15 minutes of your time. Tell them you will file, make tea, take calls, tidy up – anything they need.
  • Challenge people to have a mini-adventure on their way to work (just get off the bus at a different stop or take a different route), share stories over coffee and give a prize for the one voted funniest.
  • Spend the day listening – give no advice unless someone is really stuck.
  • Get the teams to draw up a list of the things they love doing at work and share them around – who knows, there may be opportunities here!

Creating a healthier, happier and more resilient work culture

The attention given to Blue Monday can give the misguided impression that for the other 364 days of the year everything is just fine. Of course this is not the case and we’re delighted that so many of our clients are putting mental health and well-being at the top of the agenda. Demand to deliver our related programmes including Resilience, Mindfulness, and Energy and Wellbeing doubled and this trend seems set to continue in 2019.

If you want your managers or employees to start creating a better working culture, please talk to us.

Most of all – we wish you a happy, anxiety-free Blue Monday!

[i] The concept was coined in 2005, as part of an advertising campaign for Sky Travel

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