horwich farrelly

Horwich Farrelly looks to brighten up Blue Monday

January, 15, 2018

Horwich Farrelly is looking to make Blue Monday – which this year takes place today, 15 January – a happier Monday with the launch of a number of employee wellbeing initiatives. In addition to relaxing the firm’s already informal dress code, all 750 employees are today being given luxury hot chocolate alongside practical tips and advice on how to beat the winter blues.

The initiative follows the firm’s recent Mental Health Awareness week and comes after a year of fundraising for Rethink Mental Illness, which is set to raise at least £15,000 for the charity.

Colleagues embracing hygge

Colleagues are being encouraged to embrace hygge, the Scandanavian word to describes cosiness and comfort.

Background

The third Monday of January is often referred to as ‘Blue Monday’, a day when many people are said to feel down as a result of post-Christmas blues, dark evenings and the realisation that they may have spent more over the festive period than originally planned.

While the science behind Blue Monday is far from proven, there is strong evidence that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression often linked to reduced sunlight in the winter, affects around 2m people in the UK. Symptoms can include a persistent low mood, a feeling of lethargy, sleeping longer than usual and feelings of despair and guilt.

After researching the condition, Horwich Farrelly sought to raise awareness of some simple, practical steps its employees could take to tackle SAD and the more general ‘winter blues’.

Wrap up warm

‘Hygge’, the Scandinavian word to describe a feeling of cosiness and comfort, will be encouraged today by encouraging employees to come to work in clothing such as woolly jumpers, chunky cardigans, shawls, wraps, scarves, slippers, and even animal onesies. Hot chocolate stations, with cream and marshmallows, have also been set up in each kitchen after research by the NHS suggested simply being warm can reduce winter blues by half.

Basket of hot chocolate and treats

Hot chocolate and herbal teas are being made available in all of Horwich Farrelly’s offices

In addition to these more light-hearted initiatives, the firm is also offering practical tips to improve employee wellbeing in the winter, and beyond. These include boosting exposure to sunlight by opting for a window seat on public transport, downloading a mindfulness app or watching a favourite comedy on the basis that a number of studies have shown that laughing can reduce stress, boost your immune system and even reduce blood pressure.

Employees are also being reminded that the firm’s accredited Mental Health First Aiders are available should they be having longer-term concerns about their mental health, such as experiencing depression or anxiety.

Horwich Farrelly's accredited mental health first aiders

Horwich Farrelly’s accredited mental health first aiders

Committed to employee wellbeing

Thomas Reynard, Chief Operating Officer, said “While the thinking behind Blue Monday might just be pseudoscience, it stands to reason that many people across the UK might be feeling a little low at this time of year.

“We take the health and wellbeing of all our people extremely seriously and, whilst today’s activities are designed to be fun, we want to emphasise to our employees that it’s OK to not feel OK today, or indeed any other day. By providing practical tips and advice we hope to continue to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health in the workplace, and remind colleagues that support is available for everyone – including the one in four adults estimated to experience a mental health issue each year.”

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