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Hate Mondays? Tips to lift the mood

Monday is not renowned for being many people’s favourite day of the week anyway, as the Boomtown rats notoriously sang ‘I don’t like Mondays….’ there’s even a Monday in January that has the glory of being crowned the most depressing day of the year. Rumour has it, Blue Monday was created as a PR stunt to encourage people to book holidays.

Marketing tactic or not, here are 6 reasons why it is understandable that Monday 17th January 2022 may have been a tough one for employees.

  1. The Christmas decorations and fairy lights that lit up our dark nights are now all down and a distant memory.
  2. Most people have been ‘back to work’ for a couple of weeks, however since the government’s pre-Christmas announcement, a lot of workplaces are not ‘back to the office’ which without the smiles and support of our colleagues, going back to a desk in the spare bedroom can make the return to work, a bit more gloomy.
  3. Employees may have left arduous tasks on the backburner until after Christmas which have now morphed into urgent matters that are leaving them feeling overwhelmed.
  4. The cold wet weather that had cosy connotations before Christmas of cranking the heating up and snuggling down in front of the TV, now is a pain in the proverbial as we put on multiple layers before bracing the elements to walk the dog in the pitch black before work.
  5. Those credit card statements are creeping in, reminding us of our Christmas splurges and the gifts from ‘me to me’!
  6. Staff may even be feeling deflated that the restriction free Christmas we were promised was not all it was cracked up to be as many people or their loved ones were forced to isolate over the break.

It does not need to be all doom and gloom, here are 13 things that we can all do to bring a bit of sunshine to any Monday in our workplaces…

  1. Get employees to reflect on their successes of the last 12 months – a sure fire way to elevate their moods. The company can follow suit and publish a list of the company’s ‘wins’ over the last 12 months, as well as business success, it can be a reminder of internal successes like promotions or even money raised for charity.
  2. Encourage lunchtime walks/ check in and chats, excellent for getting staff out in the daylight on these dreary days to get that essential vitamin D and get our bodies moving.
  3. Put together a feel good playlist for employees to play during breaks or before logging on in the mornings.
  4. Offer virtual drop in slots to support employees, they can be great to establish who is snowed under and to see if there is capacity elsewhere in the team to help out. Drop in slots don’t have to just be to discuss problems, it can be a great excuse to break up the day and have a gab. Employees who are working from home may not speak to another person all day and ensuring employees do not feel isolated or lonely is so important. A 10 minute chat with a colleague can really boost morale.
  5. Be flexible with your teams – Everybody will be juggling different responsibilities and have different situations. Speaking to staff members as individuals to discuss their personal arrangements and how can they be supported can help support productivity. Adjusting workloads, work times and the offer of one to one support can help employees manage competing responsibilities and work during when they are most productive.
  6. Encourage mindfulness in the workplace- try sending out YouTube links with tutorials on desk mediation and desk yoga sessions.
  7. Recognition – encourage staff to send a colleague an email or give them a call recognising their hard work or something they admire about them! Kindness is contagious and creating a more positive work environment will help to increase output.
  8. Encourage staff to have a ‘tap to tidy’ a 10 minute tidy of their workspace/ desk area as tidy space = tidy mind.
  9. Good news update – send out news bulletins through the day of positive news stories
  10. Virtual coffee breaks in staff diaries – The charity Samaritans have suggested Blue Monday should be renamed ‘Brew Monday’ instead! Or what about virtual after work drinks?
  11. Suggest that employees write down a list of 3 things they have to look forward to.
  12. Suggest that staff write a list of 3 things that they would like to achieve this week.
  13. Send an update of how much earlier the sun rises or later it will set by the end of the week to show the days are getting longer and brighter!

Encourage colleagues to pick up the phone if they need support and let your teams know that mental health struggles are not uncommon and sharing their feelings can help!

workers under stress