Recognising and tackling Blue Monday wellbeing

As part of our staff wellbeing, we recognised the challenges that January can sometimes bring in terms of personal motivation for our workforce.

The fun of the holiday season has faded, purse strings are tightened as pay day seems further away than usual, and as if January weather isn’t bad enough, Storm Eleanor brought more wind and rain than usual. These are some of the different factors which have resulted in the third Monday of January (sometimes the fourth) being dubbed the most depressing day of the year.

The date was first identified by Cardiff University, marking the symbolic time in January when people suffer from a series of combined depressive effects. It always falls on the same day of the week (hence the name) and is calculated according to specific measurements including time since Christmas, weather, level of debt, low levels of motivation.

We developed a wellbeing campaign for our teams to turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday by encouraging staff to get together for a cup of tea and a chat. This was based around two of our business values – ‘developing, valuing and respecting our people’ and ‘enjoying what we do’.

Teams were encouraged to:

  • Smile and say hello to someone you wouldn’t normally speak to
  • Identify, acknowledge and celebrate our success
  • Make time for others – share a cuppa with someone and have a chat
  • Learn something about what others do

Whilst for the majority of people the factors of Blue Monday will be short lived, depression for 1 in 5 people remains a real concern. So we used the opportunity to remind staff of our trained Mental Health First Aiders available for confidential support.

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