Blue Monday falls on 16th January in 2023 – it is widely acknowledged as the most depressing day of the year. It came about after a psychologist identified a formula for defining those classic January Blues. Several factors come into play that likely contribute to the low mood most of us feel at this time of year. These factors included debt, monthly salary, the length of time since all that Christmas cheer, the time since failing new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to act.
Given the last couple of years, now is a good time to check in with your employees to see how they are doing. What could just be the bluest Monday in history – after two years of living through the pandemic, and potentially more challenges ahead, it’s more important than ever for businesses to prioritise their employees’ wellbeing.
Here are five fuss-free ways employers can boost employees’ wellbeing this Blue Monday.
1. Financial support
One of the main reasons why Blue Monday is considered the most depressing day of the year is because many people are still recovering from the financial burden that Christmas brings. Although it’s not often discussed in these sorts of conversations, being financially secure contributes greatly towards personal wellbeing. Now would be an ideal time to hold your annual performance reviews, discuss opportunities for the new year and extend any advice or support you can offer – even if it’s just some useful external resources you can find that can help your team feel encouraged.
Now is a great time to acknowledge the fantastic work your employees have been doing over the last year and get them energised for the new year ahead. Starting the new year on a high note can really help to lift spirits. Creating a virtual wall of fame to celebrate the colleagues you’d like to give special thanks to or sharing a simple email or group message will go a long way in showing your team how much they mean to your business.
After a busy festive season, full of laughter and fun, January can quickly feel quite boring, so why not lift the mood this Blue Monday with a social activity and a bit of team laughter. Whether it’s just ten minutes at the start of your morning call, or an organised social at the end of the day, put time aside to catch up with your colleagues. Have a laugh and make sure you talk about anything except work … or the weather!
4. Mindful hour
With daylight hours at the bare minimum at this time of year, it’s important for both mental and physical wellbeing to make the most of the light and especially the sunlight. During lunch hours or when that afternoon slump hits, encourage your staff to get outside and have a break from work by enjoying the few hours of sunlight we have. This is a great way to revitalise when those energy levels start dipping and can also offer a boost of vitamin D during the winter months.
5. Inspiration break
When Blue Monday hits it’s likely many of your team could have low motivation levels. Well, what better way to get them keen than booking a bit of time in the diary as an inspiration break to learn some new skills. Perhaps they can start a book they’ve been too busy to read or take an online training course to refresh some skills. When you’re stuck in a rut or down in the dumps there’s nothing better than the feeling of having some encouragement and time to progress.
For HR help and guidance as we head into the new year, please contact hr inspire’s expert HR team – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy which can bring your business the benefits, protection, and experience of an entire HR department.