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Surviving Blue Monday at the office? Greenhouse is here to help!

While December is often described as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, January has a slightly cooler reputation. Not surprisingly, we are swept from one extreme to the other – and must inexorably trade golden Christmas lights, lots of yummy treats, lovely presents and fun with friends and family for a freezing cold month where the days seem shorter than the nights. Not surprisingly, we ‘celebrate’ Blue Monday every third Monday in January: a day that has been called the most depressing day of the year.

But how do you survive this dark period – and how do you make sure it doesn’t affect your job? Well, for some good vibes, you can think back cheerfully to our International Thank You Day…And if that’s not enough, we’d like to give you some handy tips to survive the feared seventeenth of January.

#1 Upgrade your workplace

People have a tendency to follow routines, that’s for sure. But routine – and having to work in the same place every time – can also cause restlessness or even boredom. Especially in the dark months of winter, when we are in need of more stimuli and colour in our lives, that the once so familiar workplace can suddenly start to feel like a place where you don’t want to be.

So why not upgrade your regular workspace: move your desk to a brighter spot in the house, get rid of the mess or transform your workspace into a cosy corner with photos and some nice postcards. Also remember not to let your workspace become an all-round place: have lunch somewhere other than in front of your computer and take a walk every now and then to stretch your legs. These tiny actions will give you peace of mind  – resulting in less stress and more focus on what needs to be done.

Of course, you can also opt for a seat in one of our coworkingspaces. This way, you don’t work in the same place every day and you benefit from an office space that has been designed by smart interior designers to improve your focus. This way, you don’t have to worry about anything – just open up that laptop. You’re welcome!

All benefits of coworking

#2 Alternate work with things that make you happy

When you are in a sad mood, it is difficult to finish things you ‘have to’ do. The word ‘must’ seems to have a stranglehold on you, which can block you out even more. Sounds familiar? Then we have just one tip: be kind to yourself. It’s not a bad thing to be a little less productive for a day, we all need to recharge our batteries from time to time.

On such days, alternate your tasks with something that gives you energy. To-do checked off? Then cook something tasty, watch an episode of your favourite series or take a pleasant walk. The important thing is that you fill those breaks with things that calm you down, so that you can get back to work afterwards. Or, in other words… sometimes you need to clear your head in order to fill it up again. Pretty obvious, isn’t it?



#3 Seek out as much daylight as possible

People are like plants: if we don’t get enough daylight, we start to limp. And although you may not be as dramatic as that droopy calathea in the corner of your living room, the concept remains the same. We need vitamin D to function properly, to think clear and to solve problems. But in the winter – and certainly in the first few months of the year – it can be quite a problem to get all the vitamins we need. Fortunately, we live in the 21st century and there are all kinds of solutions for that!

There are a number of supplements you can get from the pharmacist to boost vitamin D levels in anticipation of the summer. There is also a lot of artificial lighting that has the same effects as natural sunlight. Put such a lamp on your desk, sit next to it for a few hours – and you will soon experience the difference in mood and focus!

Arthur Vermeylen – Greenhouse Mechelen-7 Arthur Vermeylen – Greenhouse Mechelen-7

And, of course, you can also choose to work somewhere where natural daylight is present – and where you and your health are lovingly cared for. Our hubs are designed with an abundance of natural light in mind – and are also filled with plants to ensure plenty of oxygen (hello, focus!) in each space. All you have to do? Fill out our contact form – and schedule a free tour in your preferred hub, so you can experience all this wonderfulness yourself.

#4 Seek out people

Although we traditionally divide introverts and extroverts, there’s no denying it: humans are social animals – and need company to stay (or become) happy. But when we’re not feeling well, we often tend to lock ourselves away and isolate ourselves from everyone and everything. After all, who wants to chat when you’re not feeling well?

Well… you’d be surprised: when we have a social interaction, all sorts of lights go off in our brains. These lights, in turn, create happy substances in our brains, which soon make us feel better again.

So try to avoid the tendency to isolate yourself on a bad day – and find company. A short video call, a chat with the neighbours or a chat at the coffee machine in one of our three hubs? You choose what works best for you. But trust us… the small effort will have a big effect on your mood – and consequently on your work. We promise!

#5 Keep moving

When you’re not feeling well, a workout probably sounds as appealing as an ice-cold shower. But still… integrating a little exercise into your routine is not a bad idea. After all, it’s been proven that 15 minutes of intense exercise (see, that’s not so long, is it?) releases a whole bunch of endorphins in your head – you know, that substance that makes us happy…

We’re not saying you have to exhaust yourself every day before, during or after work – but a 15-minute yoga session during your break or a brisk walk with the dog will do the trick. And, oh yes. Greenhouse BXL also offers its members a fully equipped gym. Perfect for a short, but powerful, workout when you’re in a slump. Don’t hesitate to contact us – and we’ll organise a tour including the gym!

Book a tour here

#6 Treat yourself

And, perhaps the most important bit of advice we can give you… Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s perfectly normal to feel exhausted and sluggish after that busy holiday season. Take the time to pamper yourself – and look for the things that energise you, outside of work. An exuberant dinner, a wellness day, losing yourself in a good book or sinking into a hot bath? Take your pick: during these dark days, you and your health are number one, so enjoy it. Take care of yourself – and then the focus and enthusiasm at work will come back spontaneously. We promise!

Looking for a stimulating workplace?

Greenhouse might be your perfect match!

Our three hubs (in Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen) are designed to stimulate focus, so you only have to concentrate on the task of the day. Think lots of natural light, an abundance of green and ergonomic furniture in every room. What’s more, in our hubs you can enjoy a whole range of extra services (fitness or restaurant, anyone?) so that the cold clutches of January won’t get a grip on you.

Excited? Then don’t hesitate to contact us – and we’ll organise a tour in your preferred hub without any obligation. See you soon?