How is your Monday going? It is the start of a new week, probably lots to do, reading and actioning emails and maybe planning ahead for yourself and your team members.
Did you know that today is “Blue Monday”, why you may ask, it is because apparently the third Monday in January is labelled as the most depressing day of the year.
Its origin was once a year, due to a combination of factors: being a Monday, Christmas well and truly over, the weather being pretty dismal, holidays a long way off, all lead to feelings of negativity and impact on work productivity.
However, not all psychologists agree with this description:
“The reality is there’s no such thing as the most depressing day of the year and it trivialises serious mental health issues” says Dr. Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare. “Mental Health and Mental illness is an ongoing matter and achieving a good work-life balance is important to being a healthier you”.
The emphasis shouldn’t focus on a “once a year” effort to cheer employees up, but should be something that is addressed all year round, encouraging better worklife balance as Dr Winwood explains.
“When you are mentally well, you are better at making the most of your life and work. That doesn’t mean you’ll never experience any type of emotional problem, but it can mean that you’re able to deal with difficult or stressful situations more easily. Research also shows that positive people tend to live healthier lifestyles”.
However, Dr. Winwood agrees that the “Monday Blues” can lead to less motivation, so employers should be looking at ways to improve on employee morale.
“If you think you workforce are lacking Monday motivation, identifying the reasons behind the low morale is key. For example, improving the working environment is just one step to changing this. Some minor improvements, such as better lighting, more comfortable chairs, or a supply of hot drinks, water and caffeine free alternatives may improve things for everyone and thus alter the mood”.
AXA PPP have designed the above infographic with tips on how to power on through and stay positive whenever those feelings hit. However, it is important to stress that depression and mental illness shouldn’t be blamed on any single day – as there are 52 Mondays/weeks in a year.
Lets have a happy Monday instead.
A version of this article originally appeared on breatheHR