Interest waning? Don’t let seasonal depression affect your work

Interest waning? Don’t let seasonal depression affect your work

We're just one month into winter. Heading to work and home again in the dark is starting to wear a little thin. You're bored, tetchy, tired and contemplating a sick day without any sign of a sniffle. A week in Fiji isn't an option, so how do you shake the winter blues and ensure this lack lustre attitude doesn't creep into your work and affect your performance.

Seasonal depression is as common as the winter cold. One can't help but be affected by the cooler weather, lack of sunlight hours, continuous rain and reduced social life. Hibernation is common, as is a dreary attitude and outlook on life. But minimising the effects and ensuring you remain positive and focused at work can be optimised by six easy steps to lift your mood and focus your attention.

1. Let the sunshine in

There is a reason the late sunrise and early sunsets are deplored, your body craves sunlight. So make sure your working environment is as bright as possible, open blinds and curtains, sit close to windows and make the most of your lunch break or coffee run to get out into the sun.

2. Don’t eat your feelings

For many of us, a down day means we reach for stodgy comfort food instead of our salad, search for coins for the vending machine or are the first to say yes to after work drinks. While these make you feel good temporarily, when the initial rush wears off they can leave you feeling even more depressed, anxious and disappointed in yourself. Maintain your good eating habits, avoid refined and processed food and keep up your water. And of course ensure there is always room for treats.

3. Move it, move it

It’s no secret that exercise lifts your mood, motivation, relieves stress and makes you feel better about yourself. An hour's exercise three times a week can gift you increased energy, ability to focus and assist your metabolism. So while a pub lunch sounds tempting, prioritise some movement this lunch hour; your body and productivity will thank you for it.

4. Pump up the volume

Research shows that upbeat music can improve your mood. So switch the love songs for some good sing along anthems to get you through that afternoon slump.

5. Plan a holiday

An annual escape to the sun each August is not an option for us all. But even the act of planning a holiday can be cathartic and lift your mood. So whether its new year’s, next year’s holiday or even a staycation get planning. Do your research, draft your itinerary and book your leave. We all love something to look forward too.

6. Take stock

This is the perfect time to review your goals and KPIs. By marking progress you re-invigorate motivation to achieve more. It is also a great way to refocus your efforts and forge ahead.