Today (the third Monday in January) is known as ‘Blue Monday – a gloomy title that’s usually awarded to this day because the festive season is over, the days are cold and dark, and there’s still a bit of a wait until pay day.
This year, we are of course all facing the added weight of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and national lockdown restrictions, meaning many people will be finding those January Blues particularly hard to deal with.
Low mood can really impact on our ability to stay motivated so we thought we’d try to help by offering a few tips that might help you be the one who keeps smiling.
If you’re working outdoors on site, the good news is that exposure to daylight is really good for you – lifting your mood and helping to regulate your sleeping patterns. The January blues (and many other states of poor mental health) are generally made worse by lack of daylight so, if you’re doing a desk job, you might want to schedule a walk at lunchtime when the light is better.
Beware of resolutions
Many of us make new year’s resolutions that are based on our weaknesses and how we can fix them. Or, we come up with all kinds of unrealistic resolutions that only serve to make us feel guilty when we give them up.
This isn’t to say that the new year isn’t a good time to make a few changes or set some goals, but the way you approach this can make a big difference as to whether it helps you to feel better or worse.
Start by practising a bit of self-reflection. If you’re feeling down, take a moment to really think about what would make you happier, focusing as much as possible on your strengths and how you might grow them further. If you have concerns about a particular aspect of your life such as your health or money, consider steps you could take to improve those things.
Next, be realistic about the level of change or achievement you’re aiming for. In most cases, when you want to achieve something big, you have to nudge your way towards that goal rather than leap straight for it. If you want to improve your money situation, for instance, you might start by re-examining any financial products you have; put yourself forward for training at work and therefore increase your chances of promotion or make a saving by taking a healthy packed lunch with you to work each day.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t change as fast as you may like. Maybe you derailed the healthy eating by opening the last of the Christmas chocolates? But, maybe eating one or two chocolates as opposed to the whole box is also a step in the right direction!
The science on this is clear – taking regular exercise lifts our mood, reduces stress and anxiety and improves our overall physical and mental health. Apparently, it’s all down to the endorphins (our feel-good hormones) that are released when we’re active.
While we can’t go for the cliché of joining a gym this January, there are plenty of other options. Running, cycling or taking brisk walks are all great if you want to tick that ‘getting some daylight’ box too. However, if you’d rather stay indoors, there are literally thousands of instructive videos on YouTube which can help you get in a workout at home (many of which require no equipment and are pitched at beginner levels).
Recognise good work
If there’s one thing that can really boost morale and create a positive atmosphere at work, it’s saying or receiving gratitude or praise for a job well done. So, if you spot good work from a colleague today, take a moment to tell them you’ve noticed and give that well-deserved pat on the back. Hopefully you might get some positivity like this come your way too!
As with any industry, success within construction relies on the health and wellbeing of those who work for or with us. We hope these tips might help you if January is getting you down. Let us know if you’ve got any tips of your own by commenting over on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
Stay safe, stay positive!
Feature image: Visual-Project/Shutterstock.com