They call it Blue Monday - but staff at a Halifax factory have had some lessons in laughter that will blow the blues away!
The third Monday in January - today, January 15 in this year’s case - is said to be recognised as Britain’s most depressing day, thanks to a mixture of post-Christmas blues, gloomy weather and the realisation that New Year resolutions may already be falling flat.
But forewarned is forearmed and employees at pladis’s factory at Hopwood Lane, Halifax, home of McVitie’s Hobnobs Flapjacks and Jamaica Ginger Cake, took part in a series of laughter therapy workshops to fight off the gloomy mood of Blue Monday as it loomed on the horizon!
The workshops, which are facilitated by UnitedMind, an organisation that runs laughter-based training programmes, are designed to release natural feel-good chemicals, lower the level of stress hormones and encourage positive thinking.
Employees from across the factory took part in 25 minute sessions which involved playful laughter activities, deep breathing, and useful everyday tips.
Jon Sweeting, factory general manager at pladis, said: “As the darker days start to feel gloomy and festive cheer becomes a distant memory, it’s easy to feel a little blue.
“However, at pladis we want to do our best to ensure we’re starting 2018 with smiles on our faces and a positive outlook, so we’re delighted to be increasing our daily laughter dose with the help of UnitedMind.
“As our team at Halifax continues to expand and we look for new talent, we’re keen to ensure we have programmes in place that help to build a connected and happy team.
“Laughter is such a simple yet effective way to release endorphins and encourage positive thinking.”
Lotte Mikkelsen, director at UnitedMind said: “At UnitedMind, we believe you don’t need a reason to laugh, and science shows the body and brain cannot differentiate between real and stimulated laughter.
“Laughter is a powerful tool in increasing our mental and physical wellbeing and we’re always supportive of any companies that aim to bring about positive change using laughter as a key ingredient.”
The activity forms part of pladis’s health and wellbeing programme and action plan for mental health.
Last year, pladis signed a mental health awareness pledge with Time to Change, and now provides mental health ambassadors across its seven sites in the UK and Ireland, workplace stress guidance for managers and a 24/7 support line for employees and their families.