As the festive season fades and the realities of the new year set in, many of us face the dreaded January blues. This period of post-holiday blues can be particularly challenging for managers, who may feel the weight of their team’s morale and productivity on their shoulders.
However, there is no need to succumb to the January blues. Adopting a positive mindset can make a significant difference in how you approach your work during this period. A positive outlook not only benefits your well-being but also sets the tone for a more energised and productive team environment.
Here are 12 ways managers can stay positive to help their team beat the January blues:
1. Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your team. The pressure to start the year strong can be overwhelming, but setting achievable goals can help you and your team feel more motivated and less stressed.
2. Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Large tasks can seem daunting and insurmountable, but breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps can make them seem less intimidating and more achievable.
3. Celebrate successes, no matter how small. Taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small, can help boost morale and keep your team motivated.
4. Take breaks throughout the day to recharge. Stepping away from your desk for short breaks throughout the day can help you stay focused and productive. Get up and move around, take a walk, or do some deep breathing exercises.
5. Get enough sleep and eat healthy foods. When you’re well-rested and eating nutritious foods, you’re better able to cope with stress and maintain a positive outlook.
6. Exercise regularly to reduce stress and boost energy levels. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
7. Connect with friends and family for support. Spending time with loved ones can help you feel connected and supported, which can be especially important during challenging times.
8. Practice mindfulness or meditation to calm your mind and body. Mindfulness and meditation can help you focus on the present moment and reduce stress. There are many different mindfulness and meditation techniques available, so find one that works best for you.
9. Focus on the present moment: Avoid dwelling on past regrets or worrying about future uncertainties. Ground yourself in the present by focusing on what you can control and appreciate the good things in your life.
10. Reframe negative thoughts. When negative thoughts arise, challenge them. Ask yourself if they are truly helpful or based on facts. Replace negative thoughts with more optimistic and realistic ones.
11. Practice gratitude. Take time each day to reflect on things you’re grateful for, both big and small. Gratitude shifts your focus from what you lack to the abundance in your life.
12. Acknowledge and accept your emotions. Recognise that feeling down during the January blues is normal. Allow yourself to experience these emotions without judgment.
Maintaining a positive mindset is extremely important for our mental health, especially during January. Positivity doesn’t guarantee a perfect outcome; it will, however, enhance us to be healthier in our mind, so we reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, as well as manage our stress.
Psychologists Scheier and Carver proved that optimistic thinkers can cope better with stress, are happier, and spend more time focusing on what can change and improve.
If we think positively, we will act positively and speak positively. Our thoughts are reflective of our talks and actions. This is proven by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Techniques, which are evidence-based methods to change thoughts, feelings, and behaviours and improve overall life satisfaction and functioning.
Reflect on what you’ll do today to cultivate a positive mindset. How will you counter negative thoughts if they arise?
For additional insights on positive mental health and emotional fitness, watch my YouTube interview with Sharon Deal, a transformational coach from South Africa, on my Mental Health Chats programme called “Emotional Fitness for Leaders“.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Chats YouTube and Podcast to get updates on various discussions around mental health in the workplace.