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Is it possible to overcome ‘January Blues’?

by Kartikay Kashyap

For some people returning to their pre-holidays routine, catching up on overdue tasks, unread emails, deadlines can be indeed stressful. January Blues typically manifests as emotions of poor mood, melancholy, lack of motivation, weariness, and low energy.

Getting back to work after a long break can be overwhelming for some people. Often, this transition from holidays to the office might not be the easiest thing ever, and what youre actually experiencing is post-vacation syndrome. 

Also known as January blues, it is often felt after a long period of celebration and rejuvenation. For some people returning to their pre-holidays routine, catching up on overdue tasks, unread emails, deadlines can be indeed stressful. Though January is about to come to an end, the effect of January Blues can still be felt at the workplace. It’s similar to having Monday blues where you lack motivation to get back to work and give it your all. 


With such challenges at hand, how do you cope with it? 

It is possible for companies to beat the January Blues by rewarding, appreciating, and developing their employees. Heres how it can be done:

Reward your employees 

Companies can look at incorporating instant and peer to peer reward systems. When employees are rewarded for their hard work, they feel good and it helps them deal with January blues. If you already have a rewarding system, enhancing or increasing its frequency will be a great idea. Even promoting peer to peer rewarding will boost engagement. Not having a continuous rewarding system or instant recognition system is a major challenge in any organisation. This is a major reason why people feel demotivated at the workplace. 

Learning and Development

Coming up with new things to learn or providing learning opportunities to employees can help you to generate curiosity in people. As a result, it can lead to positive feelings, and productivity will enhance. Giving it a logical thought, whenever we learn something new, the excitement level is at a different level. On the one hand, as self-development helps us to stay relevant, on the other hand, spending time learning something new gives us a break from our daily job routine.   


Develop a culture of appreciation in your organisation. A verbal ‘Thank You’ or a ‘Well Done’ can really make an employee feel good. The leaders need to lead this change by example which in turn cascades down to a lower level of management. To develop a culture, the leadership team needs to demonstrate the correct behaviours which promotes a culture of appreciation and recognition at the workplace. When this happens, it is easier to drive a change in the organisation. 

Mindfulness sessions 

Mindfulness sessions can really help one to keep the mental health in check and all emotions are ultimately connected to your mind. So, addressing emotional issues with mindfulness and meditation sessions is a good idea. Mindfulness exercises is a type of meditation where we intensely focus on what we are sensing and feeling at the movement. It involves practices such as breathing exercises and guided imagery practices. It helps in dealing with stress, anxiety and negative thoughts in our mind.  

Organise an office picnic

It’s also a good idea to organize a bonfire party or a day out for your people to combat the January Blues. During this time, employees will have time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Work can be stressful, as we all know. Our mind is constantly dealing with challenges and solving various problems. Taking a break from work and spending time with colleagues and friends at work generates happy emotions. 

Apart from the organisation, people themselves can take certain practices and steps to deal with January blues. Below are some steps – 

Go outside and indulge in physical activity 

Changing the routine can work and cheer up your mood. Going out for a small walk or indulging in exercise for even 30 minutes rejuvenates you and can help to improve your mental health as well as physical health. As per medical science, physical exercise helps in releasing brain chemicals which helps you enhance your sense of well being.   

Explore the city or travel

If your finances and flexibility at work permit, it would be great to plan a trip or vacation that will brighten your mood. But for many, it is not possible to plan a long trip or even a small one during weekends. Nothing to worry about, there will always be some places in your city that you haven’t explored yet. Take time to explore your hometown, which creates a feeling of curiosity and motivation that can benefit your career. 

Investing time in a hobby

Taking up a hobby is always a plus point. For example, it can be as simple as developing a habit of writing in your personal diary or painting. Moreover, learning something new can also change your mood and bring positivity in your life. It can be as simple as learning a new instrument. The idea is to keep yourself engaged in some activity through the January and major part of the winter. 

Socialise or spend time with friends

The idea is to get you out of your home and spend time with your friends. Either you can plan to go outside or even have a good coffee or tea time at your friends place. You can also plan to socialise and make new friends at your workplace or your neighbourhood. Getting to know new people adds excitement and can improve your productivity at work. Moreover, getting to meet new people open new opportunities for you which can help you grow or move up in your career. 

January Blues is a real issue that employees are facing right now. The organisation and the employee together will have to deal with this challenge. 

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