How to Stay Inspired on Blue Monday

Blue Monday may not be as scientific as it seems. Here are our top tips for beating the blues and promoting motivation in the workplace, today and every day of the year.

Did you know that the idea of Blue Monday, the saddest day of the calendar year, was in itself a marketing ploy? 

Sky Travel came up with the date in 2005, as part of a press release investigating when people are most likely to book holidays, and the British public has been latched onto the idea ever since.

The company claimed that Blue Monday’s date had been determined via an equation, which took into account average weather conditions and debt level around this time of year, the amount of time since Christmas, and the probability that we will all have failed our New Year’s resolutions by now.

While academics have described the equation as "farcical" with "nonsensical measurements", the date nonetheless makes people feel uneasy every year - as if simply by getting up on the third Monday of the year you are inviting a bad day.

We don’t believe in folk psychology. However, we believe in a strong company culture that keeps team members feeling positive every day of the year. We always have each others' back, Blue Monday is no exception. 

Here are some of our top tips for beating the blues and promoting motivation in the workplace, regardless of how many weeks it’s been since Christmas.

Environment

Creating an attractive and comfortable work environment is always important, but never more so than in the winter months. Getting up before dawn, sitting at a desk all day, and heading home after dark is enough to give anyone a serotonin low.

Natural light is key to keeping moods positive and minds clear, so take advantage of your office space’s windows and skylights to keep your team safe from Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you don’t have much natural light at your disposal - or if all you can see from your window is grey skies and rain - make sure that the office’s interior decor makes up for it.

With creativity at the top of our agenda, we’ve worked hard to build and decorate a workspace that reflects our think-outside-the-box mentality. With bright, bold artwork on every wall and touring exhibits in the gallery space, we never let a grey day get us down.

Activity

Winter weather often makes it difficult to enjoy the physical activity that would otherwise flood us with endorphins, and sitting down for eight hours a day can be harder than it seems. Starting the day by walking or cycling to work is a brilliant way to arrive at the office in a creative state of mind

It’s also important to take advantage of lunch breaks as a time to move around and socialise. Mix things up by arranging some impromptu events across the hour. 

We’ve enjoyed bring-and-share buffets, bake-off competitions, mindfulness meetings and yoga classes to name a few - they’re all great opportunities to get off our seats and mingle during the day.

Altruism

Research shows that the simple act of doing a good turn can release as many endorphins as exercise can. What better way to beat the blues than give back a little? Find a way for your team to contribute to society and brighten up these winter months.

Volunteering at a soup kitchen, organising a charity swap shop, or even having a fun dress up day for a charity of your choice will inject a little goodwill into your day and give you something worth smiling about.

We’re proud to have incorporated altruism into our creative work itself, having partnered with Amnesty International and Find Get Give to tackle important issues such as welcoming refugees and raising awareness about mental health. When it comes to releasing endorphins, this kind of work is the equivalent of running a marathon.

Variety

We all know that variety is the spice of life, but it’s still all too easy to slip into routines that wear us down at work. Break up your day with a variety of tasks to avoid getting bogged down in repetitive work. It all needs to get done, but you can take ownership over when and in what order. That feeling of control alone will help to banish the blues.

Break up long periods of solitary work with creative meetings, brainstorm sessions and one-to-ones. Mixing up the way you work and who you’re working with during the day will stop your brain from going into standby and keep you fired up with new ideas.

Be Happy

While there’s no real reason for Blue Monday to be sadder than any other day of the year, it’s nonetheless important to stay connected and motivated during this chilly season. Whether it’s going out of your way to chat with a colleague or taking in some inspiring artwork, we hope that you find a way to make this Monday - and every Monday - count.