Blue Monday falls every year usually on or around the third Monday in January and is a concept which developed in 2005 when a British Travel Company used the term in a PR stunt, describing it as the gloomiest day of the year. This of course was in a bid to encourage people to book their holidays and it didn’t take much for other companies to latch onto Blue Monday as a way of increase sales of their own products.
Apparently, there is a formula using many factors which manages to calculate the most depressing day of the year, some factors being the weather, possible credit card bills landing after the Christmas shopping and perhaps when people fall off any new year resolutions. The Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall has since moved away from the concept of Blue Monday with arguably a more important concept of maintaining and achieving good mental health all year round.
So what does this matter to an employer?
Simple answer is that you could be proactive to manage this depressing day to avoid staff absences, but also to show that you are following your duty of care and showing that mental health matters.
Communicate with you team
It could be the day you send out communication to your staff to remind them of your holiday rules, whilst this might not seem overly exciting it may at least momentarily give your employees the chance to think about time away from work, even if there is a reluctance to book holidays abroad, staycations may remain as popular in 2022 as they were in 2021!
Take positive breaks
You could also encourage some exercise, ensure your staff are taking a break, can you encourage a team walk at lunch time for example, or even set a daily steps challenge even if it is just for the one day.
Do something a little different
You might also want to consider doing something fun, 2020 it was the year of online quizzes, but this tailed off in 2021, so you could perhaps consider resurrecting the idea and set one up for Monday 17th to at least bring a little bit of fun into the working day.
Provide healthy treats
Bosses often bring in “treats” for staff if they are wanting to cheer staff up, so how about rather than the perhaps usual chocolates and biscuits, you opt for a fruit basket! This might just be the turning point for someone about to veer off from their New Years Resolution of being healthier/losing weight!
Finally, as we all know, “Its good to talk” and “Its ok to not be ok” are popular slogans in the media, how about sending a reminder out before Blue Monday to remind your staff who they can talk to if they are in need of support. Mental Health First Aiders are a great resource for any company to have, even just having one designated trained person available for people to talk to can make a world of difference to someone.
These are just a few simple cheap ideas to avoid the Blue Monday in the workplace.