First week of January and those of us back in work are raring to go – one week later and the ‘January blues’ hit – it’s not just the cold and damp – it’s the sugar withdrawal (yes, another reason not to consume so much in the first place!).

Coughs and colds are everywhere and even though the days are, believe it or not, starting to lengthen, the summer sun just feels too far out of sight.

And then… 24 year old Rebecca in our team takes to Yammer, our internal communication channel, reminding us of the well-recognised phenomenon of January blues and offering up some practical solutions.

She sets out a programme which gently encourages the whole team into an activity each day, from yoga to a lunchtime walk around the park. Simple yet effective activities for us all to get involved with

When it comes to the Well-being of Future Generations Act, walking the talk is essential. Our team have been actively involved in establishing our well-being programme, forming a choir, introducing a pool bike, a weekly early-bird yoga class amongst other actions. And the fact that one of our team has chosen to tackle the January blues head on, unprompted, has already lifted hearts and raised energy levels.

Good leadership comes from all parts of an organisation and at all levels. You can’t enforce well-being or good choices but you can choose to keep working to create the right conditions for people to flourish.

Here’s Rebecca’s post to the staff. We’d love to hear what your organisation is doing.

Well-being Week 15th -19th January – Rebecca Brown

It’s no secret that once the festive cheer fades and the illusion of New Year’s resolutions has been broken, for many, January can be a long, dark month. Call it ‘January Blues’, or general winter malaise, many mental health and well-being professionals have written about the increased risk of depression and suicide throughout the month of January. Some have even researched into the consequences of ‘Blue Monday’ – the 3rd Monday of every January, where everyone is at their poorest and feeling their worst.

I therefore thought it might be a good idea to have a very informal, internal well-being week within the office. It’s completely optional, and would take a maximum of half an hour of your day each time. The idea is to be open and compassionate with each other about the realities of mental health and to spend some time practicing some of the great techniques we started learning and experimenting with last year. Please also bring in any resources and self-help/positivity books that you may have at home to share with colleagues.

Monday ‘Blue Monday’ 15th January:
10.30a.m. – FIKA
A chance to spend half an hour catching up with colleagues about the weekend over some sweet treats. Bring in any leftover festive chocolates you haven’t been able to get rid of, any treats you may have whipped up over the weekend, or perhaps your favourite smoothie recipe, guaranteed to make you feel revitalised after the weekend and perk you up for the week ahead. Basically, any food that makes you, and others, feel good.

Tuesday 16th January
3.00p.m. – Mindfulness
A 30-minute mindfulness body-scan in the collaborative space. A chance to be in the moment during what is usually one of the busiest, most hectic days of the week!

Wednesday 17th January
11.30a.m. – Gratitude
So much of the focus of New Year’s resolutions is about looking to the future and working on your current flaws. Whilst self-reflection and improvement are never a bad thing, it can often leave you feeling like the way you are right now is not ‘enough’. This 30-minute session offers a chance to think about what you are grateful for right now, and what you are most happy with when it comes to yourself in this very moment.

Thursday 18th January
8.00a.m. – Yoga
Our weekly yoga session – guaranteed to connect mind and body and kick-start your day

Lunchtime – sharing well-being tips
An informal chance to share ideas on what helps with your well-being on a dark and rainy day. Be it going for a run, a long bubble-bath, going to the cinema or watching re-runs of your favourite show, a chance to offer your non-scientific wisdom with your colleagues over lunch!

Friday 19th January 
2:00p.m. – Walk around Bute Park
In so much of our work, we talk about the benefits of nature and ‘green prescribing’. A chance to practice what we preach and utilise one of the city’s most beautiful assets with a quick walk around the park. The Japanese talk about ‘shinrin-yoku’,  the practice of ‘forest-bathing’,  and the physical and mental health benefits of getting out in nature are well-documented.

Of course, mental-health is something we all deal with, 365 days a year. Below are a number of resources contactable at any time:

Samaritans Cymru: 116 123
 Mind-Cymru: 0300 123 3393