The Blue Monday Phenomenon

Got the Monday blues?

So today is Blue Monday – This is the day they claim is the most depressing day of the year, which typically falls on the third Monday of January… I know what you’re thinking – What about the 2nd January and my first day back to work? What about the rest of the year staring back at me? What’s my plan for the rest of the year? What have I got to show for last year?! As you start to hyperventilate into your cornflakes, the good news is you may well enjoy what it is you do, in which case panic over, but for those of you that don’t this blog might help you get a grip on today.

I can quite honestly say at Revium I enjoy my work and the environment I’m in, BUT it’s no secret that being tucked up nicely in bed on a Monday morning is a more appealing option.

The Blue Monday concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation – (Yea… a bit of maths to make it authentic). But the real question I’m trying to help you answer today, is how do we cope with such a phenomenon and how do we turn those negative feelings of a Blue Monday, into an optimistic yellow, quite literally.

Tips to help you through Blue Monday

Your first tip should be to plan your week ahead and get organised. Today can set the tone for the rest of the week, so try to set yourself up for an awesome week. As our values at Revium say – Anything’s possible, so set yourself clear goals that will make you feel a sense of accomplishment today and throughout the week.

Live for the weekdays too – People look forward to the weekends, but even out your life and plan things after work – Life’s just too short. It shouldn’t stop just because work has started. Go and see your friends and spend time with your family. Going out doesn’t mean you have to be out all hours of the night either. Meet loved ones for dinner, maybe even go for a run with them, meet them at the gym or grab a pint, or make that a shandy, it’s a school night after all…

Appreciate the good things in life (not just because it’s Blue Monday) – Your friends, your family, your colleagues and most importantly, the coffee you drank to get yourself up this morning! We can be thankful for a whole range of things and work can sometimes play a part in that. We’ve got some great benefits even at Revium, that help to make life a little brighter, from gym discounts, to super breaks & Westfield Health care.

Dress a little more flash on a morning like today. If you look good, you usually feel good too! You might even start to radiate some positive vibes, which can rub off onto other people.

Capitalise on light! Studies have shown that surrounding yourself with natural light helps to stabilise serotonin and trigger endorphins (the happy hormones to you and me). See if you can get out and about for at least 10 minutes today and improve your mood for the better.

You could also combine that 10 minutes into a longer affair with the outdoors today, and take part in some exercise – Walk, swim, jog, play a game with colleagues, it all works. Again, this will boost those all-important endorphins and make you feel more positive about the day.

Smile. Sounds simple, but when you smile your body releases feel-good chemicals to your brain which make you feel relaxed and lowers your blood pressure. Funny thing about it is, a smile can be contagious, so you could also be responsible for brightening up another colleagues Blue Monday. Be a radiator not a drain today – It’s a Revium value I’m going to make a very conscious effort to be one today, even at 9am!

Pamper yourself. This doesn’t have to be a weekend thing and it doesn’t have to cost the earth at that fancy, newly refurbished spa just down the road from work! Run yourself a bubble bath instead of having a shower, pick up some chocolate, do some retail therapy, buy a plant or flowers for your desk and indulge yourself. Research has shown people who work with greenery in their environment, report less stress and have lower blood pressure. The moral here, is treat yourself to a few things that make you feel good.

Practice altruism – It’s not all about you, BUT it does improve health & well-being! Paying other people a compliment or commenting on a great piece of work today or last week can make a world of difference to a person. Offer someone a genuine compliment or make a contribution to a charity, it works the same.

So what can we learn?

This phenomenon of Blue Monday shouldn’t be taken lightly and is not something we should shrug off. There can be some real issues that arise from a day like this, and can have a really negative impact on people’s psyche, if ignored. I enjoy my work and it may sound corny, but I genuinely feel like I am part of one big tribe. The chances of me feeling like this today (on Blue Monday) is quite slim, but if you do, and you dreaded coming into work today, it can sometimes be a sign that something needs to change. You may be dissatisfied with work, unhappy with your environment, or culture, lack of recognition or maybe you’re working like a robot. If that sounds like you, it’s time to look at the problem.

Perhaps a job change or a closer look at your career choice would help. It might even be a small thing like changing your wonky chair, but it has an impact on you and the environment around you. Whatever it is, talking with friends, the guys at work, or the ones you love I find always helps and can really make things clear again. Remember you are not alone. Whatever you do decide, do it with a planned and prepared approach before making any serious or rash decisions. Do what makes you happy, because life is just too short.

Want to join our tribe? Click HERE to see our current opportunities.

Thanks for Listening!

Jessica Hamersteen – Marketing & Communications