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Those January Blues
The first few weeks of January are often perceived as a challenging time for employees from a mental wellbeing perspective. Read on for Safewell’s guide to helping you beat the mid-winter blues.
It is the new year and while some will rejoice and create a list of resolutions, it can also be a difficult period for those with a mental health issue, and those whose wellbeing in the workplace is challenged.
The day which is the major focus in January is the so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday in January. Although there is no hard evidence to prove this, this is the worse day of the year for mental health.
Despite a lack of firm scientific evidence, there is some empirical research that suggests the month of January is a particularly difficult time for workers. It has become a standard by which to look at the broader picture of mid-winter wellbeing.
A BBC news article states that Mondays are the most common day for employees to be off sick. More than a third of all sick leave is taken on a Monday, research suggests.
Also, the government’s official data provider, the Office for National Statistics, reveals that in excess of 130 million days are lost to sickness each year – and recently stress has become the biggest workplace sickness issue.
The issues for workers are three-fold, according to the man behind the Blue Monday concept, Dr Cliff Arnall, who created it during his time at Cardiff University: debt levels, weather and the associated seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and a failure to keep to new year’s resolutions or lifestyle issues.