Blue Monday is said to be the most depressing day of the year and, let’s face it, there are plenty of things to be blue about.
The joy of Christmas is long gone, we’ve set ourselves (or have already failed at) New Year’s resolutions like dry January, #veganuary or any other kind of -anuary, it’s cold, it’s dark and there’s too much month at the end of our money.
Here at Home, we asked everyone for their top ten tips on beating the January blues…
1. Be more mindful
One of the New Year’s resolution trends that we’re on board with is more self-care. A lot of Homies use apps such as Headspace or Calm which promote meditation and mindfulness – great stress busters and anxiety-relievers.
2. Switch off and get out
The cold weather and dark days can make us want to stay indoors glued to our phones, scrolling through endless feeds of people #livingtheirbestlife and making us feel rubbish about ours. Seize the day, switch off your phone and get outside. Go for a stomp in the woods or find a Park Run if you’re feeling energetic. Being outdoors is good for the mind, body and soul and totally free!
3. Make meal times more sociable
We’re famous for our Wednesday lunches when, each week, two Homies cook and we all sit around one big table and eat together. It’s an important part of our culture, but it doesn’t stop there. Most days of the week you’ll find us in the kitchen at lunchtime, eating together, catching up and taking a break from our desks.
We’re proud members of Vitality Health, and we love their #MakeTimeMonday movement, which highlights the importance of social eating.
When we regularly eat alone, it can make us unhappy. We can positively influence our happiness by eating with others.
We also loved this article by Catrin Lewis on ‘The Top 5 reasons to encourage your employees to eat together’. She highlights even more benefits such as boosting productivity, team building and overall improved wellbeing.
4. Listen up
Different perspectives, stories and opinions can open our minds to new possibilities and ways of thinking. A lot of our Homies listen to podcasts, these are some of the ones we’re plugged in to at the moment:
Flintoff, Savage and The Ping Pong Guy – “My number one podcast and always on my phone.” – Martin
You’re doing it wrong – “A great podcast by Adam Buxton that takes a sideways, unconventional and very funny look at modern ideas on topics such as family, the environment, diet, parenting and work.” – Becky
Kind world – “If you need your faith restored in humanity, or just want to hear overwhelming stories of human kindness and love, this is one.” – Kerry
5. Get tails wagging at work
We don’t have an office dog at Home, but occasionally someone’s four legged friend makes an appearance and you can instantly feel the mood lift. Pet food company Purina have some great advice on setting up your own Pets At Work (PAW) Scheme, with some encouraging stats around just how beneficial it can be.
45% of people with pets at work say it creates a more relaxed atmosphere.
6. Swap four wheels for two
More fresh air and less time sat in traffic makes some of our Homies a whole lot happier. Cycling on their commute makes them feel fitter, wide awake and more positive when they get to work. We offer our Homies a cycle to work scheme, check out this website if you’d like to find out about it for your workplace.
7. New year, new experiences
At the start of the year, all Homies are given a development fund to use so that they can learn and grow as both employees and individuals. Focusing on new experiences to look forward to is a great way to get rid of the January blues. In the past Homies have spent their funds on everything from design festivals to floristry courses, presentation skills to sign painting.
Take a read of Chad Halvorson’s article “5 reasons why you should be investing in Employee Development” over on inc.com – it sets out the case for employee development brilliantly.
8. Read yourself happy
When we get home from work it’s easy to huddle up on the sofa and binge watch the latest box-set, which, at the moment, tend to be full of crime, murder and all the things that make us hide behind our cushions (Luther was good though, wasn’t it!).
Instead, some of our Homies are putting down the remote and picking up a book, such as Dr. Rangan Chatterjee’s 4 Pillar Plan – “How to relax, eat, move and sleep your way to a longer, healthier life.” Sounds perfect! We also love the ‘Do’ books which can tick a lot of boxes this time of year, from learning how to keep bees, to being your best self.
9. Be thankful
It’s easy to focus on the negative things at this time of year. Make a grateful list. Put on all the things that you’re grateful for in work and at home. There’s always something, or someone, to be thankful for. If you start doing this every day, after six weeks you’ll have started to rewire your brain so that you think more positively. Amazing.
10. Make work fun
This doesn’t have to mean table football and bean bags. It can be about gamifying team meetings, brightening up comms with video clips (we worked Carpool Karaoke in to our work for Northwell Health last year), collaborate more, do some brainstorming – try things that might make your time at work less stressful and more enjoyable. We loved this recent infographic from Alight which highlights things that make the workplace more engaging.
We’re feeling less blue already!