An insider’s look at Blue Monday (and what you can do about it today)

As the third Monday of January approaches, the label “Blue Monday” is frequently attached to it, symbolising the supposed gloomiest day of the year.

At Recruitment Solutions (NW), we decided to take a closer look at the reality of Blue Monday, shedding light on how the people we speak to truly feel about the day and revealing some of the strategies they employ to combat the January blues.

Unveiling the Myths

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone experiences a dip in mood on Blue Monday.

In our interactions with candidates, we discovered a spectrum of emotions ranging from anticipation to indifference. Some viewed it as just another day, while others acknowledged a subtle shift in energy.

The Emotional Spectrum

  1. ANTICIPATION: For job seekers actively engaged in the recruitment process, Blue Monday often marks a day of anticipation. The hope for positive career changes and new opportunities overshadows any supposed gloominess.
  2. INDIFFERENCE: Many individuals we spoke to expressed a sense of indifference towards Blue Monday, viewing it as a social construct rather than an inherent mood determinant. This mindset is prevalent among those who prioritise focusing on personal well-being throughout the year.
  3. REFLECTION: Blue Monday also serves as a time for reflection. Professionals take stock of their achievements and set goals for the upcoming months, turning the supposed negativity of the day into a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

Strategies to Combat the Blues

Despite the varied responses, a number of people do still feel the January blues, even if it’s difficult to pin it to one of the myriad of common reasons such as the realisation of life goals, the comedown after Christmas or even a downturn in weather. Here are some of the common strategies we hear that people employ to combat the January blues:

  1. PROACTIVE JOB SEEKERS: If your career is a source of January frustration, job seekers use Blue Monday as a checkpoint and opportunity to intensify their job search efforts. They update their CVs, fine-tune their online presence, and reach out to their networks and recruitment professionals for guidance on potential opportunities.
  2. WELLBEING PRACTICES: Individuals prioritise self-care practices such as exercise, mindfulness, and spending time with loved ones to boost their mood and resilience during the winter months.
  3. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Blue Monday often serves as a catalyst for investing in professional development. Many candidates expressed a commitment to upskilling and staying competitive in the job market.

The main takeaway from our conversations with candidates and amongst the office is that Blue Monday is far from a one-size-fits-all experience. Yes, there are a few myths, but there are also a variety of emotions that this time of year brings, and tackling these one by one is the easiest way to battle the blues.

For many people, their career is a vital part of their lives so it’s natural that a renewal of goals or a realisation of the rung of the career ladder you find yourself on may cause you to ask the question, “What next?”.

If this is you, reach out to us; as recruiters, we understand the importance of recognising the nuances of Blue Monday for our candidates and we’re dedicated to providing support, guidance and opportunities whether it’s Blue Monday, or any other day of the year.

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