Post-Holiday Blues in the Workplace

  • Author | Heather Sturtz
  • 1/6/2024 6:25 am

Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind us, employers should be mindful of their employees’ mental wellness. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Post-Holiday Blues” is suffered by approximately five million people in the United States.


While mental wellness is becoming a more common discussion in the workplace, the “Post-Holiday Blues” can be attributed to many physical ailments and suicides.


If you notice that employees are feeling blue more frequently or consistently struggling to step back into their roles, it may be a sign that you need to find new ways to boost their engagement, or simply do a check-in to make sure they are mentally okay. The official symptoms of this condition are sadness, lack of motivation, sleep disturbances or irritability, and can present like clinical depression. Your entity’s Human Resources Department should be prepared to offer any mental wellness option that may be available through your healthcare provider.


In addition to being a healthcare issue, “Post-Holiday Blues” can also affect an entity’s momentum going into 2024. Research has found that January is the most unproductive month of the year, followed closely by February.


There are ways you can help improve productivity and engagement among your employees who may be struggling with this condition. These include:

  • Offering fitness incentives to employees.
  • Giving your team something to look forward to, such as a team building activity, staff lunch or a simple pat on the back.
  • Getting your employees fired back up through a New Year’s kickoff meeting.
  • Doing something charitable: A random act of kindness, a fundraiser for a non-profit organization or simply celebrating an achievement.
  • Promoting gratitude: Gratitude in the workplace is infectious, starts with management and is then passed down the line.

Work becomes less of a chore if people have healthy, supportive relationships within their teams. Help foster a sense of belonging and eagerness to engage by allowing employees to create a network they value personally as well as professionally.

Holiday parties and time off during the holidays are always welcomed, but the benefits are only reaped through the holidays. For a lasting impact, it is recommended that leadership keep the mental wellness of their team members in mind throughout the year. Take steps to inspire creativity and explore ways to keep their zest for their roles alive.