Blue Monday

How your workplace habits can improve your mood and health today

Today is allegedly the most depressing day on the calendar year – Blue Monday. With the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations only distant memories, and the summer months seemingly far away, it can be easy for people to feel disheartened at this time of year, but there are things you can do to help lift your mood during the 9-5. The Work Ready programme assists employers like yours to create a healthy workplace environment, which has been proven to improve employee’s productivity and mood as well as their long term health.

We all have good days and bad days but what we eat and when we eat can influence our mood, energy levels, concentration and even how we deal with stress at work. You don’t need to sign up to the latest fads – a healthy diet simply means regular meals and snacks with a good variety and balance of foods from the major food groups.

Small changes can really make a difference so today the BDA highlights some top things that you can do whilst you’re at work to boost your mood …

  1. Keep regular: Nearly two thirds of peoples in surveys [1] said that having a healthy lunch makes them feel better in the afternoon – and they’re right! Our mood is influenced by a steady supply of nutrients to the brain so try not to skip breakfast or lunch.
  2. Keep it complex: Choosing complex carbohydrates provide blood sugar to the brain so seek out wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice and pasta, couscous, pulses and beans, fruit and vegetables which can all help with energy levels during the day and enhance our mood.
  3. Think brainy: Include a range of nutrient dense foods in your diet which are important for healthy brain function. In particular, look for foods rich in iron and B vitamins such as meat, eggs, oily fish, pulses, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
  4. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can make us tired, anxious and lacking in concentration. Adults need 6-8 large mugs of fluid a day even in mild temperatures. Water – either tap or bottled – is great but plenty of other drinks count as well; or even follow the lead of the Samaritans and turn your Blue Monday into #BrewMonday!
  5. Take your breaks: A lunch break is a good opportunity to rehydrate, refuel and get some activity or fresh air. This supports performance and your positive well being at work.

How do these compare with your habits at work? Get in touch with the Work Ready team at workready@bda.uk.com for more information.

[1] Attitudes towards lunch Out of Home (UK), Mintel, October 2016

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