Coping with Blue Monday at Work

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) estimated in 2017 that Mental Health issues cost UK employers as much as £15 billion in productivity and has resulted in over 91 million lost days of work.

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Health Assured team

20 December 2018

It’s well known that the third Monday every January is dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ - allegedly the most depressing day of the year. For 2024, it’s worth making a note in your diaries that Blue Monday will fall on the 15th January 2024.

So what can organisations do to boost morale and mental health in the workplace to help employees to get through Blue Monday?

Below are a few ideas that will give you an opportunity to raise a few smiles and distract team members from the “most depressing day of the year”.

Create a fun event

At a time when everyone in the workplace is feeling low, what better way to cheer them up than with a team event they can look forward to? Such as:

  • A ‘dress-down’ day.
  • A charity fundraiser.
  • Treat them to a staff lunch at a local restaurant.

The most important factor to remember is to try to make the event something everyone wants to be a part of, and it will give the team something to look forward to on Blue Monday .

Encourage staff to take lunch and breaks

Good food practice makes a big difference to your staff’s working day:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet is good for general health
  • Eating at regular intervals will help with combating stress and depression
  • Encourage regular breaks

Make sure your employees feel comfortable taking breaks to keep moods lifted. During the dark winter months employees rarely see the sun, so it’s a great idea to encourage them to get outside and enjoy the little bit of sunshine that is available.

Recognise good work

Staff members can often feel demotivated – especially if they’re feeling overworked and their achievements are going unnoticed. It’s important that employers recognise a good job being done when they see it; even just a ‘thank you’ won’t go amiss.

If you’re aware that some of your staff are consistently doing a good job but you haven’t told them so, Blue Monday is a great time to do it as it’ll help them to feel more positive and motivated.

Keep happiness levels up throughout the year

If you want to look beyond Blue Monday and boost morale on a more permanent basis, there are plenty of other things you can implement to ensure that your employees benefit in the longer term:

  • Think about reviewing the company perks to see if you can offer anything extra to thank them for their continued hard work. You could look into more modern perks such as benefit apps and travel vouchers.
  • Create a committee for staff to get involved with all things social. This is a great way to encourage team interaction. Either nominate team members who you think would be perfect for the role, or ask for volunteers.

It’s important however, to watch out for employees who appear to have a consistently low mood. Try having a one-to-one with them to make sure that they are happy, because there might be something more significant occurring than the effects of Blue Monday.

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493

Support your employees mental health

Our Employee Assistance Programme provides guidance and supports your employees with their mental health. We can help you create a safe, productive workspace that supports all.

We support employees mental wellbeing with any problems they might be facing in their professional or personal lives with our 24-hour counselling helpline.


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