Blue Monday is identified in 2017 as the 16th January and is supposedly the most depressing day of the year.It's linked with post Christmas blues, the credit card bills landing, it's freezing, dark and we're back to reality with a massive bump.
If you're interested in where this ridiculous concept came from - this is the formula:
Where weather = W, debt = D, time since Christmas = T, time since failing our new year's resolutions = Q, low motivational levels = M and the feeling of a need to take action = Na.
My understanding is that this was a PR stunt by Sky Travel which has just escalated. I do not think it's a stupid idea because I am belittling anyone's feelings or anxieties but because to assign a specific day to this is just ludicrous. Those who suffer from depression or know anyone who does will know that low periods can hit randomly and there certainly isn't a formula involved.
That doesn't mean that you should just ignore the concept of Blue Monday though. Some individuals may use it as an opportunity to allow themselves to be down. So, what do I suggest?
- Turn the day into something else - apparently the Samaritans are aiming to turn Blue Monday into "Brew Monday". Think of something positive and focus on that instead.
- Take individual concerns seriously. Depression is real. Rather than focus on a specific day - consider each employee and the issues they are personally facing.
- Use this day as a way to raise awareness and not to belittle the real issues people are facing.
- Stop putting pressure on yourself. I get so frustrated that people feel the need to set New Year's resolutions - especially when January is hard enough as it is. Setting yourself goals is great but they've got to be realistic and achievable and if you're not in the right place to achieve those things, you're setting yourself up to fail.
In terms of the HR impact of Blue Monday it's no different to any other day. Recognise individuals as just that - people who are facing individual problems and have different ways in which they wish them to be recognised and managed.
As always, Mint HR is here to help and assist in focusing on the positive.If you need any assistance managing your employees, get in touch.