Tackle the January Blues: Innovative Strategies for Workplace Wellness

Following the rush of urgent projects at work, Christmas shopping, and family events, we’re quietly rolling into the new year. It feels somewhat anticlimactic.

And then, to top it all up, there’s Blue Monday. Can it get any more depressing?

While Blue Monday started as a marketing campaign by the UK travel company Sky Travel, it’s still very real, and as a result, we can expect a decrease in morale and productivity. This, in turn, can affect the mood at work.

How can HR departments contribute to tackle that?

Proactive Wellness Tactics for HR Managers

To restore a vibrant and thriving office environment, HR professionals need to act and address this issue. Read on for some innovative wellness strategies tailored to your success.

young woman using phone standing table

Light up the Workplace

January’s shorter days and overcast, cold, damp weather inevitably affect mood and concentration. Add to this the myriad effects on our neurological and metabolic systems, and the importance of light exposure is evident.

Enhance natural light by encouraging office reconfigurations. Move desks closer to windows or open the workspace with glass partitions to improve light flow. Consider installing light therapy lamps. These have been shown to reduce seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Personalize the Workplace Environment

Organize a ‘bring a plant to work’ day. Encourage employees to personalize their space and benefit from the calming effect of greenery. Additionally, certain plants are known for their excellent environmental qualities. The Spathiphyllum, for instance, is well-known for its air-purifying effects.

You could also consider creating a ‘quiet room’ where employees can relax, meditate, or enjoy a moment of solitude away from their desks. This is an excellent addition to any inclusive office culture.

happy friends outside warming with hot tea

Introduce Wellness Challenges and Outdoor Activities

Start a wellness challenge. Consider a ‘walk a mile a day’ initiative or team-based fitness competitions. Bring in professionals for lunchtime yoga sessions or suggest winter walks after lunch. It will make the after-lunch slump a thing of the past.

These activities will build team spirit and encourage a healthy start to the new year. Tailor these challenges to your unique culture and see how the team spirit and healthy attitudes that come with it flourish.

Mental Health and Skill-building Workshops

Mental well-being is an essential part of combating the January blues. Support your employees by giving them the tools to overcome these challenges.

Consider organizing workshops focusing on mindfulness, stress management or setting achievable goals. Add non-work options such as cooking, art or language classes to stimulate the mind and break the monotony.

These initiatives promote employee health and signal a supportive and understanding workplace culture. An invaluable asset for any organization.

happy woman pouring fresh water

Focus on Nutrition and Hydration

During the dry winter months, strong drinking habits are vital. A ‘Hydration Station’ with infused water options goes a long way to reach that objective.

To promote better energy management and well-being, consider inviting a nutritionist. They can educate your employees on mood-boosting foods and share suggestions on healthy snacks.


Tackle the January blues by bringing more light into your work areas, helping people learn new skills and taking care of their mental health. Use these tips to boost productivity and create a team where everyone feels welcome. Imagine what it will contribute to making your organization more attractive to potential employees.

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Angelique Hersman
Angelique Hersman
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