The chilly winter weather brings with it feelings of sadness, low energy and motivation, and even depression for those with seasonal affective disorder. Winter blues can greatly affect your mental health as well as productivity at work. Here are ten tips to help you fight winter blues and keep yourself happy, motivated, and energized while working from home.
Maintaining a sleep routine allows you to get adequate sleep and prevent mood disturbances that come with sleep deprivation. Go to bed at the same time every day and fight the urge to take long naps during weekends as they may disrupt your sleep routine. You can also incorporate a sleeping ritual such as listening to audiobooks or music to soothe you to sleep. A consistent sleep schedule that gives you 7 hours of sleep ensures you rest well and boosts your mood throughout the day.
Whether you are working in the office or remotely, make it a habit to take daytime breaks in between work. Daytime breaks in the afternoon allow you to enjoy the sunshine and get your dose of Vitamin D. It also reenergizes you and prevents the feeling of being overwhelmed which may worsen your winter blues. While at work, ensure you get plenty of sunshine by opening your windows and allowing in as much natural light as possible.
Keeping your own company, especially during winter, may intensify feelings of loneliness. If you can, make time to socialize with people. Set-up phone dates or Zoom calls to check in with friends and trusted peers. You can also network with other professionals by attending online seminars and events. In a normal year, you can visit a local restaurant or café for your favorite coffee after work, or opt for a co-working space instead of working from home. Seeing and speaking to other people throughout the winter will help you fight winter blues while boosting your career.
Other than keeping you fit, movement and exercise triggers the release of endorphins which help elevate your mood and fight winter blues. Luckily, you don't have to go to the gym or have the equipment to start exercising. Consider watching YouTube workout videos and exercising at the comfort of your home without equipment for at least 30 minutes daily. Jogging, tai chi, and yoga are also perfect options to keep your body and mind in good shape.
A Report by NSH shows that people who eat fast food are more likely to develop depression. To beat winter blues, change your diet to limit fast food and incorporate healthier meals. Foods like fish and eggs are rich in Vitamin D, while chicken and fruits have plenty of vitamin B. The latter promotes the production of serotonin that helps regulate your mood. Comfort foods such as hot, homemade chocolate are also great to help you relax.
With limited sunshine during winter, it may be challenging to achieve the necessary Vitamin D. A drop in Vitamin D levels results in depressive symptoms such as sadness and lack of energy. With this in mind, consider taking Vitamin D supplements to make up for the inadequate sunshine to help you fight winter blues.
If you barely get the time to enjoy natural sunshine, light therapy is an alternative for boosting your serotonin levels. Invest in a lightbox and use it for at least 30 minutes daily to beat winter blues and improve your mood. Light therapy is especially great for those suffering from seasonal depression as it regulates the circadian rhythm and the release of serotonin. Since a lightbox can be pricey, consider with your doctor or a mental health professional for advice on how to get the most benefit out of it.
Setting clear and attainable goals will keep you motivated and focused. Come up with both short-term and long-term goals and break them down into manageable tasks. This way, you have something to look forward to, which helps maintain your enthusiasm, and smaller things to accomplish along the way, which helps maintain motivation. Once you accomplish your objectives, don’t forget to reward yourself!
When planning out your day, make time for hobbies after work to help you unwind from the day’s activities. Whether it is hanging out with friends, reading a book, or watching a TV show, ensure you indulge in a hobby every day. Doing what you love c elevate your mood, reduce stress, and help you fight winter blues.
If your winter blues are severe and nothing you do seems to work, you should seek professional help. By consulting a professional, you will establish whether you suffer from seasonal affective disorder or depression, and get professional intervention.