We’ve had Christmas and New Year, but it’s now time for another famous day in the calendar – only, this one isn’t quite so joyous.
Blue Monday, which falls on 16th January in 2023, has been referred to as the most depressing day of the year for some time now. The festive cheer has worn off, days are often cold and dull, money can be tight and resolutions may already be broken.
As an employer, it’s important to be proactive when it comes to days like Blue Monday and to consider how you can boost mental health, motivation and engagement levels amongst your team. To help, we’ve put together some of our top tips.
1) Create a healthy workplace environment
It’s vital to raise awareness of mental health and ensure you have a positive support network in place so that colleagues feel comfortable approaching their line manager or mentor for someone to talk to, or to ask for support.
Promoting counselling services that are available to support employees’ physical, mental and financial wellbeing, as well as sharing information about organisations such as Mind, Anxiety UK and Samaritans, who can offer additional support, is also very beneficial.
2) Recognise staff
Showing staff appreciation is known to improve employees’ mood, health and outlook. Perhaps recognising an ‘employee of the month’, or sharing company or team successes would be a good place to start. You could also reward staff for their achievements, if your budget allows.
3) Show you care about employees’ wellbeing
Blue Monday is a great opportunity to run supportive workshops about mental health and wellbeing, as well as encourage beneficial healthy activities. You could:
- Encourage time outside to reduce the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Set up exercise equipment in the office to encourage physical activity
- Offer smoothie making sessions to promote healthy living
- Introduce meditation or mindfulness apps to help staff relax
- Arrange food package or self-care bundles as a pick-me-up
4) Offer a mental health day off
Implementing a policy where staff can take a day off to look after their mental health without being penalised for it is an excellent perk. A growing number of companies are doing this and finding that their staff are happier and stress-free.
An added benefit is that it also saves businesses time and money, as taking one day off can prevent prolonged absences further down the line.
5) Appoint a mental health first aider
Having a visible first aider can remove the stigma associated with mental health and helps to support any employees who may be struggling.
6) Support a good cause
The benefit of raising money to support a good cause is obvious, but it can also have a positive effect on your employees’ wellbeing. Consider what you can do to together as a team to help generate a positive atmosphere amongst staff.
7) Share positive news
It can be easy to get bogged down in depressing news stories and negativity on social media, so sharing positive news is a good way to counteract this. You may want to share news from positive news outlets such as: HuffPost Good News, Positive News and Good News Network to help lift the mood.
8) Brew Monday
Many workplaces are turning Blue Monday into ‘Brew Monday’, a campaign initiated by The Samaritans, to create a supportive day at work where employees can catch up over a brew, or even get together for a lunch or cake afternoon. It’s a simple but effective way to bring more positivity into the workplace.
How HR Planner can help
Dedicated to the needs of SMEs, HR Planner is an all-in-one tool that enables the seamless management of your HR obligations. Some key features to support mental health in your workplace include:
- Industry-leading leave and absence management – Easily arrange cover for mental health days
- Insightful reports – Monitor regular absences to highlight staff that may be suffering with mental health troubles
- Skills system – Ensure mental health first aiders are up to date with certifications
- Documentation module – Publish self-help articles and resources for staff to access 24/7
- Organisational charts – Make staff aware of any mental health first aiders within your company
To experience the benefits for yourself, arrange a free demo with our team on 01252 636070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.