January doesn't have to be so blue and depressing

A lot has happened in the first couple of weeks of 2021; Another UK national lockdown, Donald Trump impeached again after an attempted coup at the US Capitol, Elon Musk became the richest man in the world, lorry drivers had their sandwiches confiscated at the Dutch border due to new Brexit restrictions, and the rumours of Kim Kardashian West & Kayne West’s relationship being on the brink of divorce (Gasp!). It’s been a ride. 

As if all this wasn’t enough to send you into a tailspin, the 3rd Monday of January is typically known as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. 

There is actually no truth in Blue Monday, instead it was a fictional day made up by a travel company in 2004 to try boost sales. However withal this being said there is always a certain melancholy which looms over the month of January and it can be difficult to motivate yourself back into your daily routine.

To try and dissolve the January blues we’re sharing some ideas to help motivate and keep the spirits high.

Revamp your working space 

The majority of us are still working from home. Some of us may still be sat at the dining room table where we started back in March when we hoped this would all only be for a few weeks. Others more fortunate might be working from a makeshift office in their spare room. Regardless of where you are working sometimes making a simple change can help motivate you to get through your to-do list instead of procrastinating  by watching This Morning. 

Consider buying a desk if you haven’t bought one already, there are some great fold away options available online for if you are tight on space. Or maybe even just a small change like clearing your space of all unnecessary paperwork. You could also invest in a whiteboard to help keep you organised for the year ahead.

The likelihood is we’ll all be here for a while so best try and make our space somewhere that inspires us to do our best each day.

Set some career goals 

New Years resolutions are hard to keep, in fact it is claimed that Blue Monday is the very day many of us finally admit we are giving up on them. Often it is because we set unrealistic goals like “stop eating carbs” or “be less patronising”. 

However, New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to be personal or as toxic as these. Sometimes January is a great time to push yourself out of your comfort zone with your career. After all, this is the month when many company appraisals take place, and it could the best time to talk to your manager about how you want to progress. Whether that be that you want to take on more responsibilities or start studying. Opening up these conversations with your line manager and setting yourself some achievable goals can be enough to get you excited for starting work each day. Or at least get you out of bed. 

Keep a structure to your day 

Now that you’re back to work after the festivities, it’s going to be important to find routine and structure in your days. It’s hard to keep momentum going when you’re working 16hr days and not being able to sleep because you’re thinking of that report you need to do tomorrow. Many people have struggled to switch off while working from home and have been getting burnt out. 

So now that most of us have had a few weeks to unwind over a quieter than normal festive period, it’s a good time to set yourself some new boundaries. Try and set a clear start and finish time to your day and make sure you take time away from your desk for lunch.  Our Managing Director, Kris Flanagan spoke about implementing a fake commute to start and finish his day and how he’s found that really helpful. 

Most importantly, when entering this new working year, give yourself a break. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and our day to day lives have been turned upside down. So, if you’re not achieving all that you used to be able to in the office, that’s normal and you shouldn’t be beating yourself up about it. January is a long month and no doubt there will be more to come that we can’t control. 

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