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Education & Training

Prioritise, sleep, detach, repeat: Top tips to tackle workplace misery on ‘Blue Monday’

Photo Credit: Mark Rademaker

  • Aston Business School expert, Dr Wladislaw Rivkin, has a number of top tips to help beat the workplace blues on Blue Monday
  • Prioritising enjoyable tasks could help cheer you up on the most depressing working day of the year
  • Dr Rivkin is calling on employers to use Blue Monday as a chance to recognise the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace

Tackling the tasks you enjoy and taking the time to talk to colleagues you like could help you beat this year’s ‘Blue Monday’ blues at work, according to a top Aston Business School academic.

Blue Monday is the name given to the third Monday in January which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year due to a combination of the cold weather, failing New Year’s resolutions and the post-Christmas, pre-payday pinch.

In particular Dr Wladislaw Rivkin, Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour, suggests that by detaching from work altogether on the Sunday, before getting a good night’s sleep leading in to Blue Monday, employees can improve their resilience and be happier and more engaged at work. Prioritising tasks that staff find enjoyable on the day itself, and moving the more monotonous tasks to the bottom of the to-do list, will also help them conquer the blues, as well as finding the time to catch up with colleagues they like in-between.

Dr Rivkin says: Even though Blue Monday was initiated as a PR campaign, we should use this opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and well-being concerns in the workplace, which have drastically increased in recent times and still remain highly stigmatized.

“Research shows that satisfying psychological needs, that is feeling autonomous, competent and related to others at work has a positive impact on resilience.

“This suggests that organisations should satisfy employees’ psychological needs in the workplace and there’re few better times to think about ways of doing that than on the most depressing day of the year.”

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