Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) reported to be the most depressing day of the year. This year it fell on Monday 18th – did you feel the blues?
Whether you’ve been away over the holidays or just had cosy days by the fire at home, by the third week in January Christmas feels like a long time ago, and the festivities have been replaced with alarm clocks, pay day feels like it’ll never come… and it’s still freezing out.
No wonder it gets depressing, even if we usually enjoy our job. At BCUK we can’t fix the weather, but we can give these three important tips on how to get back into the swing of it at work.
New Year’s Resolutions pledging to do exercise or learn a language may have already fallen by the wayside, but you can certainly set yourself some achievable targets at work. Chances are you’ve already considered your plans for the year and where you’d like to be by next Christmas. Maybe you’ve decided you need a promotion, a better work/life balance, to move on to a new position, or to start a new career! Rather than deciding this grand change and then leaving it to sort itself out, start making some smaller plans to get there. Start looking at positions and fixing up your CV. Talk to a recruiter you trust. If you want to move soon, make sure you’re applying before the end of January.
If you’d like to stay in your role but make some changes, book in a discussion with a line manager to discuss your options. If you work hard and you’re valued, your line manager will always be open to listen to what you feel you need to keep pushing yourself and the company in the right direction. If you need more skill or experience to move to that next level (or next pay grade) the ball is in your court. Start acting like it. Start pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, asking to take on more responsibility or looking at courses/learning that would be useful to you. Only you can make this change!
To Do or Not Do
Nothing is more stressful than a full inbox and problems that seemed to go from molehill to mountain in the week you had off. The first step is to get back in control. Plough through any backlog and make some top priorities for the next 4 weeks. If you try and overdo the first week you’ll only burn out, and fast. Be strict with yourself- if it can wait, make it wait. Limit new work until you have sorted out the unfinished stuff. This to do list will also remind you that routine is a good thing and give you a sense of achievement as you tick your way through. Get some early nights and eat at regular times to get back into that routine mindset, and you’ll slip back into it much easier.
Give yourself a break
It’s all well and good to fly into 2016 all guns blazing, go running three times a week, start that new class, try and read up on how to be better at your job, pay off that loan, take on more responsibility, socialise more AND have more time for yourself… but chances are this is the reason you’re feeling a bit down by the third week in. Take your time and set yourself a couple of goals- and make sure to include that down time after work. ‘Clocking off,’ whether it’s at the end of your working day or an hour before bed, will help your productivity levels for the next day and in the long run. Lastly, make sure to treat yourself occasionally. Everything in moderation!
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