Blue Monday falls on the Monday of the last full week of January, which is the Monday 21st January, and is thought to be the most depressing day of the year . The idea of Blue Monday is little more than pseudo science, but ,what is known, is that around 25% of the population in Northern Countries suffer from a mild or severe form of winter depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – and SAD peaks in January which is the darkest month along with December.
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a type of depression that comes about during the winter months as a result of the lack of sunlight. It affects a lot of people in Northern countries where office based workers get limited access to sunlight.
25% of your workforce could be operating below their optimum
Employers should take this subject seriously as 25% of your staff could be operating below their optimum during the winter which could lead to lower energy levels, decreased output and increase absence levels.
Below I have presented an Infographic prepared by First Choice which gives more information on SAD, its causes, its symptoms and treatments. I have summarized the five recommended treatments below.
1. Buy an SAD Lightbox and make it available to staff to use as needed. Let staff use them at their desks or designate a room they can use for light therapy.
2. Position as many desks as possible near windows.
3. Encourage staff to take regular activity and physical exercise
4. Encourage and help staff to get outside once a day
5. Encourage staff to eat a balanced diet. Help by making free fruit available at work.
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