By George Fenton, Talent Development Coordinator at Ogilvy Europe, Middle-East & Africa
Whether you believe in the January blues or not, there’s always space for a welcome helping hand in feeling happier this month and throughout the year.
At Ogilvy UK, our Happier Healthier Me programme runs throughout the year containing small and larger wellness and happiness hacks. Here are five ways we’ve found effective to boost your mood, from exercise to music.
Reduced risk of some diseases, healthier organs, more energy, clearer thinking - these are just some of the many health benefits of physical activity. Whether it’s yoga, netball or rugby, we’re offered a range of activity to keep us moving at Ogilvy. In fact, I set up the Ogilvy Running Club two years ago, which provides staff with a lunchtime desk break to take in the river views along the South Bank - which has only proved good for both our bodies and minds.
Throw on some tunes
Music releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Fact! So, get your best playlist on the go or, as we did last night, listen to some live music. Yesterday evening, we were lucky enough to host The London Blues Factory as part of a ‘beat the January blues’ evening held by Ogilvy Roots. There’s nothing better to blow away the cobwebs and get your mood up than comfort food and live blues.
Check your mood
Last summer, Ogilvy UK hosted a Wellness Day dedicated to improving the well-being of our staff. Part of this day included a presentation from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy-based mood journaling tool, Moodnotes. The app aims to capture your mood and improve your thinking habits all with the aim of making you happier. Whether your using an app or just making a note to regularly check your mood, this happiness hack has certainly improved my happiness levels.
With regular mindfulness sessions with a trained wellness coach held right here in our offices at Sea Containers, we’ve picked up a few top tips for how to be mindful. Practicing mindfulness is especially useful in the workplace, where it can help to decrease stress levels while improving focus and clarity, listening and decision-making skills, and overall wellbeing.
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness that I’ve experienced is breathing. An exercise that you can do right now is to practice breathing in deeply and exhaling slowly. While doing this, try to be completely aware of the physical changes to your body. Focus on how your lungs feel when you fill them up to their full capacity and feel your shoulders drop as you exhale.
Taking small moments like this throughout the day can make a big difference.
Have a laugh
It’s clichéd but true – laughter really is the best medicine. If you’re feeling down, laughter can help to cheer you up. To keep us laughing, Ogilvy is hosting its first comedy night next month where the LOLs are sure to flow. And to make us feel even better, all proceeds are going to Many Ogilvy Hands & our charity project in Nepal. We’re feeling cheerier already!
For more January blues fixes, read Ogilvy Change's piece on the power of positivity on Blue Monday.