Winter is depressing in general, but a lot of people think the most depressing* day is the third Monday of January--so much that it's been called "Blue Monday." While the scientific evidence that this particular day is more depressing than others is slim, we could all use some cheering up at the office. Here are 20 ideas to make your Blue Monday a lot better.
1. Bring in a breakfast treat for your co-workers.
2. Go for a walk at lunch.
3. Ask three co-workers about their weekends. Really listen.
4. Wear mismatched shoes. It won't cheer you up, but it will cheer up your co-workers.
5. Turn off your phone and shut your email for an hour and just do work. Getting ahead on your work makes you happy.
6. Compliment your direct reports on their hard work.
7. Compliment your boss.
8. Have a clean joke contest at lunch. (You have to keep it clean, so you don't inadvertently violate sexual harassment or racial discrimination laws in the pursuit of fun.)
9. Do a task everyone else avoids: Just do it and get it all done.
10. Put a bowl of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans on your desk. Everyone likes candy and it's amusing when someone gets a scary flavored one. (Do warn in advance.)
11. Share an interesting article with your co-workers.
12. Do something fun that fits your company culture. (Bowling, Nerf gun war, watching a sitcom at lunch, sponsor a crazy hair day, or a frozen yogurt feast at lunch.)
13. Make an effort to get some sun. (Don't turn to a tanning bed, though.)
14. Call your spouse or significant other just to say, "I love you."
15. Find a mentor or be a mentor (or both!).
16. Do something that you've been dreading. Once it's done, you'll feel great.
17. Make a list of all the great things about your job. Just ignore the bad things.
18. Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and meditate.
19. Make an effort to get enough sleep every night.
20. Update your resume. That way you'll be prepared should anything come up.
*Remember being depressed is not the same thing as suffering from depression. Please don't count on a few fun office activities to cure a very real health problem.