The first few weeks of January are often perceived as a challenging time for the workforce from a mental wellbeing perspective. Here, SHP revisits its guide to helping beat the mid-winter blues.
The day which is the major focus in January is the so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – the third Monday in January. Although there is no scientific evidence this is a worse day of the year for mental health, it has become a standard by which to look at the broader picture of mid-winter wellbeing.
Despite a lack of firm scientific evidence, there is some empirical research that suggests January is a particularly difficult time for workers.
One study, by Consultancy Mercer, claims that sick leave is at its highest rate in January; more than a third of all sick days are taken in this month, according to its research.
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.
5 Ways to help workers beat the Winter Blues
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