Beating the winter chills at work

Beating the winter chills at work

It’s that time of year again… Winter. It’s cold and wet, at least one family member or friend is sick, and you’re just one sniffle away from pulling that sickie. It’s fair to say the mood is low and motivation at work may be desperately lacking.

Seasonal depression, aka the ‘winter blues’, is a real disorder. Unsurprisingly it most commonly peaks (or troughs) during the dark and dreary winter months. Unless you’re lucky enough to escape to warmer climes for a few months, you just need to ride it out and do your best to minimise the effects.

To help you out at the winter solstice, we’ve put together six tips to elevate your mood and help you stay positive and productive at work.

  1. Pump up the volume
    Research shows that upbeat music can improve your mood. Ditch the cruisy love songs and replace them with some energising beats instead. If you’re in an environment that welcomes music in the background get together with some colleagues and create an office playlist, or if it’s more appropriate just grab some headphones and jump on Spotify.

  2. Get moving!
    We all know exercise lifts your mood, relieves stress and makes you feel better about yourself. It also helps increase energy, improves your ability to focus and assists your metabolism. So bypass the oh-so-tempting pub lunch and get active - a brisk walk around the block, a quick workout at the gym, or a group pilates class. Your body and productivity will thank you for it!

  3. Make good food choices
    There’s always room for treats in life but for many of us, winter means an excess of stodgy comfort food, more trips to the pub, and more sugary pick-me-ups. While these make you feel good at the time, when the initial rush wears off you’re usually left feeling depressed, anxious and a little disappointed in yourself. Build upon the good habits you’re forming with your exercise and maintain your good eating habits as well: avoid refined and processed food and keep up your water. You’ll enjoy your seldom-consumed treats even more, I promise! For inspiration check out the Healthy Food Guide for delicious and tasty workday lunch ideas.

  4. Let the sunshine in
    There is a reason the late sunrise and early sunsets are deplored, your body craves sunlight. The days might be shorter and sunshine in an even shorter supply, so make the most of what you can: ensure your working environment is as bright as possible, open blinds and curtains, sit close to windows and take breaks during the day to get out into the sun for a few minutes. In addition, there are a range of supplements available to support you whilst the winter days are short of sun.

  5. Plan a holiday
    An annual winter getaway isn’t a realistic option for most of us. But we do all love having something to look forward to, and what better use of your time on a cold winter evening than planning your next getaway. It’s cathartic and uplifting. So, whether it’s a short break to the snow or your annual New Year celebrations with friends and family up north, get planning. Do your research, draft your itinerary and book your leave, pronto!

  6. Review and reset your personal goals
    When you’re low on motivation it’s the perfect time to review your goals and KPIs. By identifying and acknowledging progress you rejuvenate motivation and the desire to achieve even more. It’s also a great way to refocus your efforts and forge ahead. There are plenty of apps available to start you on the right path or continue on it in the Apple App Store or Google Play.