Bleak, dark November days have descended upon us, bringing with them a chill that bombards our chunky knits and calls for hot chocolates in front of the fire. And although wintertime can be magical with the approach of festivities, it’s also a time for winter blues and for some of us, seasonal affective disorder. The short days and long dark nights can get us down – so how can we stay productive at work when all we want to do is hibernate? Here are our top tips on staying motivated during the cold winter months.
Start An Exercise Class
Though panting in the freezing cold may not seem like an ideal pastime, exercising is a great way of rejuvenating the body after sedentary bouts in the office munching on hob knobs. Outdoor exercise especially can help reduce stress and improve sleep. It’s also a great way of deterring any extra weight you may gain over the festive season (mince pie, anyone?)
If you have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) any sun that you can lap up will make all the difference to your mental health, brightening your outlook and tricking your mind into believing that spring isn’t far away. The exposure will clear your head and reduce the downer caused by artificial lighting.
Turn Up The Temperature In The Office
Make sure you’re toasty warm so that all your energy can be focused on your work instead of on violent shivering. If you and your co-workers are comfortable, it’s a no brainer; you’re going to be more productive and less affected by the weather.
Improve Your Diet
Watch what you eat and drink, since heavy carbohydrates and sugary drinks can make you feel sluggish and bloated. Increase your vitamins with fruits and veggies and comforting but healthy dishes like soups, casseroles and stews. You can also refresh yourself with herbal and green teas, so you have warming brews throughout the day. Remember the old saying ‘you are what you eat’ isn’t far from the truth – what you put in your body will affect how you feel. So a balanced diet will help deter weather-induced depression and keep your brain sharp.
If you’re feeling cold and disgruntled, this is the best time to set some goals to work towards and stick to a work schedule, it’ll likely distract you from the prospect of a frosty commute. Volunteer or take on fresh work projects, whatever can help keep you busy and focused. Your accomplishments will cheer you up as well as your boss.
‘Spring Clean’ Your Work Environment
If your surroundings are clear of rubbish and clutter it’s likely your mind will feel the same. Cleaning will be a great way of keeping warm and it takes advantage of the fact that you’re keen to stay indoors. Delete old computer files to free up storage, clean your desk and throw out old stationery.
Plan A Holiday
There’s nothing like planning a holiday to make winter months bearable. Look up budget destinations and book as soon as you can, this’ll give you something to look forward to and hopefully gift you with a hefty dose of vitamin D after dreich December nights.
Go out for drinks with colleagues or go to the Christmas market with friends, getting sociable is good for our mental health and combats winter isolation, especially if you live alone. Having a packed social life will help make us happier, which will lead to higher productivity.
Do you have any other tips for staying motivated in winter? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. If you’re on the hunt for a new job and not sure where to look, check out of our current vacancies or contact us on 0141 212 5130.