The days of winter are shorter and colder, with many workers experiencing winter blues. People report being less energetic, less motivated, and less productive.
There are a number of explanations for this loss of oomph. First, there’s the post-holiday letdown. People also tend to feel confined because it’s too cold to go out (that’s me!). In addition, some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) due to the dark days of winter. S.A.D. is common here in Utah, due to inversion.
If winter is getting you down, here are some tips to stay active and engaged throughout the cold months:
- Do something – It might be snowing, but it will be good for your body and your mind to step outside and enjoy the crisp air. Interrupting your standard work routine will re-energize your brain and spirit.
- Be physically active – Moving your body through regular exercise before, during or after work will help reduce stress and drive the blues away. Being physically active keeps your body, mind and spirit alert.
- Eat nutritiously – It’s hard to eat good foods when you feel sluggish and tired. Your body may be drawn to carb-laden snacks or sugary drinks, but stock your fridge with pre-cut fruits and vegetables and other healthy snacks that you can access easily. Eating well can give you energy and counteract the seasonal ennui.
- Keep your workstation warm – It may be cold outside, but it’s important to maintain a comfortable work environment inside so you can stay focused.
- Make goals – If you find the winter days to be boring, give yourself a goal to work toward and exciting things to look forward to. You might commit to run a short race in spring or plan an exciting family vacation for summer.
Winter doesn’t have to be a long, hard slog. With some basic behavior modifications, you can stay productive, regardless of the outside weather.