An article authored by Maria Gardner, Founder of Psychology Works. Today is National Sickie. Less of an endorsement of absenteeism for work without reason, more a timely reminder that, everyone, at times needs a day off to rest, recalibrate and reset. It's not about glamorising…
Authored by Claire Lish (ABP Company Secretary/Governance Lead) and Naomi Braisby (ABP People & Operations Lead)
If you have downloaded your awareness calendars and you are scheduling in activities and campaigns for your people, it is quite likely that you have Blue Monday pencilled in for next week.
TODAY, WE ARE ASKING YOU TO DITCH BLUE MONDAY.
In the current climate where we are all working hard to make a difference, it is imperative for professionals in business psychology and human resources to critically evaluate the impact of such constructs on workplace wellbeing.
Blue Monday, often touted as the “most depressing day of the year,” has been extensively debunked as a marketing gimmick with no substantial evidence supporting its claims. As practitioners committed to evidence-based approaches, it is crucial that we challenge such pseudoscientific concepts and instead promote initiatives that genuinely support mental health and workplace well-being.
Blue Monday is a myth. Originally conceived as a marketing strategy by Sky Travel in 2005, Blue Monday was purportedly calculated using a non-scientific formula involving variables such as weather, debt, and time since Christmas. This concept, while popularised in the media, and a jazzy gimmick to encourage consumers into a bit of “retail therapy,” lacks empirical support and trivialises the complexity of mental health issues. It is important to note that mental health challenges do not adhere to a calendar and can affect individuals at any time of the year. As business psychologists, our focus should be on promoting a continuous and nuanced understanding of mental health in the workplace.
The Association for Business Psychology advocates for the informed application of research and methodologies in enhancing business performance and the quality of working lives. In this context, supporting a fabricated notion like Blue Monday runs counter to our commitment to evidence-based practice. Instead, we should direct our efforts towards initiatives that align with our values of being passionate, inclusive, informative, connected, and visible in the realm of business psychology.
Instead, lets embrace Brew Monday: In contrast to Blue Monday, Brew Monday, an initiative by the Samaritans, offers a positive and proactive approach to addressing mental health in the workplace. Scheduled on the same day as Blue Monday, it encourages individuals to connect over a cup of tea and engage in meaningful conversations about mental health. This initiative aligns with the ABP’s mission of improving relationships between people and organisations, emphasising the importance of social support, active listening, and open communication in fostering psychological safety and well-being at work.
Organisations can participate in Brew Monday by creating spaces for employees to connect and share their experiences. Activities could include hosting tea breaks, organising mental health workshops, and promoting active listening training. Such initiatives not only counteract the negative narrative of Blue Monday but also contribute to building a more supportive and psychologically safe work environment.
As Business Psychologists, it is our responsibility to advocate for and implement evidence-based practices that genuinely support mental health and well-being in the workplace. By shifting our focus from the myth of Blue Monday to the constructive and community-focused initiative of Brew Monday, we can contribute to a more informed and compassionate approach to mental health in our organisations.
Join us at our Brew Monday (Join us for Brew Monday – ABP (theabp.org.uk) session on 15th January at 3pm to discuss further how we might make a difference as practitioners, and make a donation to the Samaritans HERE.