(Guest post from Liam Tarry)
Yesterday, the clocks went back in the U.K. which means just one thing. Winter is well and truly on the way! The nights are getting longer, the days are getting shorter, and the time we spend at work means many of us leave in the dark and get home in the dark too.
If that wasn’t bad enough, cold temperatures and grotty weather means we have to wrap up warm, and long for summer to come.
There’s no doubt about it, winter working can give us the blues. It can affect our performance, get us down and leave us feeling depressed.
So how can you beat the winter work blues? The good news is that there’s lots you can do to help you remain upbeat. For example, here are some useful tips from 360 appraisal provider ETS. Read on and look forward to winter working, rather than dreading it.
#1 – Use up your holiday entitlement
Far too many workers reach the end of the working year and find that they haven’t taken all their allotted holiday allocated to them – and so they lose it.
Sound like you?
If it is, then you need to use up your holiday without causing much disruption to your workplace. So why not make a few 3-day weekends? Take a few Mondays off, plan fun activities, have a few quick getaways or city breaks…nothing recharges your batteries more than a relaxing break.
#2 – Socialise with colleagues
Although summer may be gone, and with it those balmy post-work drinks in the evening sun, that doesn’t mean you should stop socialising.
Money may be tight in the run-up to Christmas, so expensive restaurant trips at lunch may be out of the question. Plus you may not feeling like going out in the cold.
With that in mind, why not start a coffee club? A book club? A lunch party club where people bring in food?
Keeping in touch with your colleagues helps build a strong working atmosphere and culture. Don’t let winter ruin it.
#3 – Get active
Yes, the weather might be miserable. It may be cold, wet and windy and there may be nothing less appealing than going out for a run.
But it’s a well-known fact that exercise is great for clearing your mind, getting your blood flowing – and keeping the weight off….
Unfortunately, shorter days mean we tend to eat carb-heavier foods and treats than in summer when cool salads and lean meat take preference. Keeping active and moving will help keep the unwanted festive cheer at bay. So if you want to beat the blues, make sure you set 30 minutes aside a day to get your heart beating.
#4 – Set yourself a goal
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Many of us get de-motivated in winter. We get annoyed with all that false Christmas and New Year gumpf, and find ourselves drifting…
But a new year brings with it new challenges, so why not use it to your advantage and set yourself a goal?
Maybe it’s a promotion, or getting new job. Maybe it’s a new home, a new set of friends. Whatever the goal, set yourself a challenge and achieve it.
#5 – Take advantage of the light!
Finally, beating the winter work blues means taking advantage of all the light you can, when you can.
Open the curtains, get outside at lunch for a walk, enjoy the sun whenever it makes an appearance…
Better yet is to ask your boss to install a skylight, or a few light lamps. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real syndrome from which people get really down in the dumps. Artificial light can help combat this and get Vitamin D pumping in your bloodstream.
So there you have it, five top tips for how you can beat the winter work blues. Just think, each day closer to the new year is one less day of less daylight. It’ll be summer before you know it!