January is hard. We know that. It’s always hard. The excited anticipation of Christmas has disappeared and the break we all longed for has long gone. Here we are, back to work with promises of self-improvement, new ways of working to transform our lives and resolutions that we hope will make it beyond the first couple of weeks of the new year. January 2021, however, is even harder than usual, stating the obvious, we’re in the brutal winter of a global pandemic. Oh, and centuries-old democracies are under threat; and it feels as though the things that divide us are getting more airtime and power than those which unify us. It bears repeating that January is hard.

So, what can we do to make it, well, if not easier, a little less hard?

Today (Monday 18th January) is this year’s Blue Monday. Wikipedia tells me that “Blue Monday is the name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year.” A claim refuted by scientists, but here at Goodstuff we don’t let that stand in the way of us celebrating this day and turning it into one of fun and joy. As is our tradition, every hour on the hour throughout Blue Monday we play New Order’s track to accompany a prize draw for all Goodstuffers. (Of course, listening to the 80s classic repeatedly throughout the day is prize enough for some of us.)

Blue Monday also kicks off our first Feelgood week of every year, during which we host and curate a number of events to support the wellbeing of our people. This week we have a session with our therapy partners at Self Space, bespoke yoga classes, crafty cuppas and the launch of a new initiative, Goodcraic, encouraging us all to get together and connect during the working week. Alongside this our agency bookclub, Goodread, is reading Wintering by Katherine May; a book to nourish the soul (and the inspiration for the theme of this post) as we wait for the frost of the pandemic to thaw. We hope some of this will provide respite and wellness for our Goodstuffers in a truly difficult time.

And whilst of all these initiatives are designed to support and motivate our brilliant people, a therapist friend last week reminded me that sometimes all we can do is show up right now; and if we can, that is a victory.

January is hard; it always is, but it always passes and already the days are getting longer. Spring is just around the corner; the vaccine is coming along with the promise of things improving. Until then, let’s celebrate the showing up, the small wins, and put the lofty self-improvement and resolutions on the back burner until Spring.

 

Sara Donovan | Head of People Engagement