Depressed dog

January blues? How to make going back to work more bearable

It’s cold and drizzly outside, the Christmas decorations have been taken down, your wallet’s empty, the belly’s carrying a few extra pounds – admit it, January sucks! Christmas is over and all the work you couldn’t be bothered to do before the holidays is piled up in front of you. As well as that you’re dreading seeing your colleagues again after the drunken karaoke at the office Christmas party. Everyone’s in the same boat, but don’t let the January blues get you down at work, have a read of our tips to make it that little bit bearable.

Get to know more people

You might have avoided annoying Annie for the best part of last year, but maybe she’s actually a cool person once you get to know her. Here at hungryhouse we’ve arranged Blind Lunch (Cilla Black, eat your heart out) where willing employees are paired with each other every Monday and it’s up to them to arrange a lunch time to hang out and get to know each other more.

Spruce up the office (and yourselves)

Painting a wall

How can this colour NOT put you in a better mood?!

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is thought to affect 2 million people in the UK and it’s worst during the winter months. So while it’s practically pitch black outside the office, why not make it colourful and cheerful inside? Paint the walls, put up motivational posters (memes could work, although maybe leave Grumpy Cat out) and get a few plants (good for some extra 0² around the office).

If you wear smart attire at work, it might be nice to have a casual day where employees can wear their normal clothes. On the contrary, if the dress code is normally casual, have people dress up smartly if they want and have a Formal Thursday/Friday (got to have alliteration there!). If all else fails….FANCY DRESS PARTY!

You could also try fashion Feng Shui where each day requires a certain coloured outfit. Wearing certain colours on certain days is said to have an impact on you and how others perceive you.

Do a whip round for birthdays

No-one likes working on their birthday so make it more fun for them! Let everyone know what a valuable part of the team they are by doing a whip round and getting a little something for them such as flowers or a voucher to show your appreciation. Designate a cookie baker so if all else fails, cookies will save the day! They also make you more popular (even if it is only for 5 minutes).

Get fit

Paper plane

Hours of fun…until one goes in the eye! (via)

It’s no secret that most people overindulge over the festive season with the average weight gain being 5lbs. You don’t have to slog away in the gym for the whole of January, but going for a brisk walk at lunch time will do you a world of good as well as helping your circulation and your concentration for the afternoon.

Why not disguise exercise in a fun task so you won’t even know you’re doing it? Office Olympics would work a treat. Set different events such as ‘office chair rowing’ or ‘paper plane races’ and keep a tally of which team’s winning. Just make sure there are no visitors scheduled on these days!

Save money

A Boots meal deal might seem like good value for money (and it is!), but those £3.29s soon add up. We know it’s not quite the same, but by making your own lunch you’ll save A LOT of money over a year. You can also control what goes in (how much salt, what kind of butter…etc.) which will help if you’re set on eating more healthily. Make a couple of salad sarnies, then you’ve got room for all the cookies that’ll be shoved under your nose practically everyday as it will seem like it’s someone’s birthday daily, trust me.

If this still doesn’t appeal to you, how about channelling your inner child and buying a cool lunch box to put them in? (I used to have a Flintstones lunch box in the shape of a rock if anyone’s interested).

Show appreciation

Employee of the month badge

Treasure it forever (via)

Even though we’re not children anymore it still makes us feel good inside when someone acknowledges our achievements (it’s a shame they don’t give out stickers to over 10s!). Having an employee of the month that the whole office chooses and giving them something to remember it by (be it a joke momento such as a badge, certificate or mug will increase office morale and hopefully increase productivity after all a worker’s productivity and creativity is dependent on the attitude towards the company they work for so if the company has a fun atmosphere it’s likely to make people more energetic and produce better work.

Set goals and celebrate when they’re achieved

If you’ve got something to work towards it makes the whole process a lot easier. How about ordering a takeaway treat for the whole department after you’ve met a deadline? Who wouldn’t be grateful for an extra large Caribbean pizza topped with ham, jalapeños, pepperoni and juicy pineapple? Or a humongous 128-piece sushi platter? I’d work non-stop for one of those!

AND if you’re somehow still standing at the end of January have a drink to celebrate! Your liver’s probably now recovered from Christmas so let it know what it’s been missing!

Do you have any secrets for surviving the January blues? Share your words of wisdom in the comments!

Feature image via

Posted on: January 7, 2014 | by: Rachel

About the Author

Serious cheese addict who loves chilling with a large glass of rosé. Fan of pop music and travelling. Also not adverse to trashy TV programmes.

  • char

    what if you dont work….or at uni

  • jOE

    Then get a job? Otherwise how can you afford take-aways (thats why you are here)?

  • bolton carley

    Great list! I already do the whip around as you call it for the people at work! A friend led me here because I have a blog post about tips for surviving the January blues, too! Great minds think alike, huh? Of course, I don’t have your cool brit vocab which I love and am very jealous of. :)

  • bolton carley

    Great list! I already do what you call the whip around for birthdays! A friend sent me to your blog since I wrote about the Jan blues, too! Of course, I don’t have your cool brit vocab which I love! :)

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