In a world, which is very focused on wellbeing and how we consider people sense of wellbeing, it seemed a bit strange to me that 17th January was renamed Blue Monday. A day to be miserable!
No doubt, next year there will be a Blue Monday shelf full of blue merchandise, next to Valentine Red and Yellow Easter bunnies as the cash registers ring with hard earned cash spent on more stuff adding to the land fill and plastic filled oceans.
But enough of that, because those marketeers did not reckon with the positivity felt from working with small children! How can you be miserable when you work with small children? You cannot, so we turned it on its head and celebrated Blue Monday with as many positive fun activities as we could muster. From science to painting, blue walks, blue treasure hunts, blueberry muffins for parents, a trip around the neighbour giving out little gifts, blue food, blue toys, blue massage oils, blue clothes, blue,blue,blue! The colour blue also symbolises trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, and intelligence. We even decided to have a prize of £50 per nursery to spend on their Staff Room for the 6 best activities.
Since returning from my COVID Christmas break, nearly every staff member has either caught COVID or is in contact with someone who has tested positive. Staffing the nurseries has been super challenging, and we have been supported by many of our Central Office staff, who have relished the opportunity to be right at the heart of what we do. It did not make them blue, even though for them covering means working extra hard to catch up on their own work.
To be honest, I haven’t seen much blue from staff. We are much more in tune with the Happy Mondays, ready to Step On!
And to support wellbeing all year and not just on Blue Monday, we have recently launched our new wellbeing book for Early Years staff – Think Feel Do: a Wellbeing Handbook for Early Years Staff .