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Beat Blue Monday

13 January 2014

Next Monday, January 20th will mark the day that's become known as 'Blue Monday': the most depressing day of the year. Wellbeing specialist The Tonic has nine top tips to help businesses encourage staff to take simple steps to feel positive, healthy and energetic every single day.

The tips tackle common areas cited in New Year healthy living resolutions including:
Be clear on individual objectives and specific deadlines


Most people have vague ideas about what they’d like to achieve with their wellbeing. Providing staff with regular coaching and advice will really help them firm up these vague ideas, get to the heart of why they want to make changes, inject motivation, add accountability, and ensure they put together an effective plan to achieve lasting success.

For dramatic results, be consistent

Remind everyone that even a small amount of daily activity will create a positive mind-set, and that completing just a couple of exercise sessions each week will add up to 100 workouts a year. That’s enough to keep anyone feeling positive about their fitness routine, and achieve great results.

Fuel yourself regularly

Grazing throughout the day on well-chosen meals and snacks stabilises energy levels and is the most effective strategy for weight management. Encourage the habit of healthy choices, little and often.

Make a plan and follow it

Help individuals establish what a specific healthy eating plan looks like for their routine and their objectives, and then provide the resources they need to follow this plan. Simple information on how to plan recipes, prepare a selection of meals, and shop effectively can save staff time, anxiety and money.

Take regular breaks throughout the day

Many people run through their day at a million miles an hour only to find that by the end of it they feel exhausted and have spent valuable time in the wrong areas. Regular review moments ensure attention is focused on appropriate priorities and create time to refuel, recharge and ensure consistent energy. Prioritising time for yourself can minimise stress and maximise effectiveness in all areas.

Set boundaries

Every individual needs to establish what work-life balance means for them so they can plan their schedule and set their priorities. Without an idea of what you’re aiming for with your time management and life balance, you risk a lack of focus and tasks taking longer than they need to. Be proactive in this area. Decide how much time you want each week for yourself, your family, exercise, sleep, hobbies, socialising etc and also be very clear on how much time you feel is optimum for you to spend working. Without a plan work may encroach onto other areas and leave you frustrated. Knowing your boundaries also helps you operate most effectively during your work time and ensures you plan and delegate efficiently.

Take charge of technology

Technology can make our lives easier or it can take over our routine and eat time. It’s up to each individual to design an approach to making the best use of their phone, email and the internet. And remember, there is an off switch!

Prioritise sleep and recovery

Our mind and body need recovery time so rather than stealing time from sleep to pack more into each day, prioritise your rest and recovery. You’ll become more efficient at using time wisely when you’re well rested rather than tasks taking longer than necessary because you feel fatigued.

Make fitness a resolution for the year, not just for January

For busy workers it’s far better to be realistic and complete 1 or 2 quality workouts per week, every week, than to aim to exercise 4-5 times a week and then end up squeezing activity in when you’re distracted, wasting energy on ineffective training time, or feeling that you’ve let yourself down if you don’t manage to fit in everything you planned. Bear this in mind when thinking about New Year resolutions and plan to feel great for the entire year, not just for the first two weeks of January.