Workplace Wellness Tips for Blue Monday 🌈 - Pure

Wellness in the Workplace 2023: Blue Monday

Blue Monday is now far more infamous than the travel company that created this concept. Whether we believe Blue Monday is pseudoscience or not, this time of year can feel difficult. The present state of the world aside, in the UK, the days are still VERY short. Let’s take a look at why this has a big impact on what’s going on in our bodies physiologically and can influence the mood and productivity of the team.

The science bit...

Our sleep-wake cycle is very sensitive to light exposure so the lack of bright daylight is a big deal. Our serotonin (happy chemical) production in the brain is stimulated by our eye detecting light and our melatonin (sleep hormone) production is inhibited by light exposure. We need enough serotonin produced in the early part of the day to convert into our sleep hormone melatonin at the end of the day. So not enough light in the morning = low happy chemicals.

Low happy chemicals = low levels of sleep hormone to feel rested.

In addition, if you keep lots of lights on in the evening (i.e, work late or watch seven episodes of your favourite show just before going to bed) – you will be reducing your melatonin production even more.

The results? We feel less content during the day, may struggle to get to sleep in the evening and have a less restorative sleep. Ultimately impacting team morale, productivity and possible the quality of our work.

3 Tips To Support Your Team

  • Include lots of Tryptophan in team lunches – this is an amino acid that is a precursor to both serotonin AND melatonin. Great sources for the omnivores include: cheese, chicken and egg (Chicken Caesar Salad box would be a fab option from the Pure menu for this).
  • Exposure to daylight in the early part of the day can really help –  schedule breakfast meetings next to big windows if possible. You could also look into getting some S.A.D. lamps for the office as these mimic natural light.
  • Reduce exposure to blue light in the evenings as it is getting darker outside. You can make sure that everyone on the team has changed the settings on their computers, phone and tablets to reduce blue light exposure.

Takeaway Health Tip

If you think you might be struggling with sleep-wake cycle issues you can try keeping your wake-up time and bedtime the same throughout the whole week - often people who have lie-ins at the weekend can end up feeling worse.

I know, I know! It might be hard to make the adjustment but it may well help your energy levels in the long run..

Marjolein x