Hello Winter Blues! After a long and unseasonably warm autumn, winter has hit us and it is cold! Spring is in sight but not close enough. Some colleagues will be enjoying winter holidays, but most of us will be travelling to and from work in the dark and watching the rain fall. So, with all this doom and gloom, how do we keep motivated at work and look after our mental well being?
June and July have lulled us into a false sense of security this year. The days, although short, weren’t too cold and there were plenty of blue skied days. Then, without warning, August arrives with rain, hail and no real shine! Our famous ‘four seasons in one day’ mantra is in full swing; with sun, heavy rainfall, storms, snow and plummeting temperatures. Not to mention phrases like ‘polar blasts’ and ‘mini tornados’ being thrown around each night. It’s enough to make us all take a duvet day.
What are the winter blues?
To beat it, we have to define it. The winter blues are most commonly defined by a lack of energy. In other words, feelings of sadness or complacency, plus a general lack of motivation can lead to an innate need to hibernate. Lack of external light leads to a lack of internal light and it gets harder and harder to fight the slump.
We know spring and September are around the corner! But, as the short days, long nights and heavy rain continue, the light at the end of the tunnel can seem a little too far to excite.
However, it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom! With a little thought and some pro activeness, here are some fun ways you can beat the winter blues and bring your colleagues along for the ride!
You know what they say about a healthy body and healthy mind – so let’s get moving. Sitting in our cars for hours a day, mixed with sitting at our desks, doesn’t make for an overly active day.
Steptember – A ready-made staff engagement activity which will improve the health and wellness of your employees. Plus, increase morale and have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders living with cerebral palsy (CP). The aim, 10,000 steps per day – walking, running, dancing, you name it. And, with your trusty pedometers you can go online and track your own/team performance against your colleagues. A healthy bit of competition never hurt anyone! Interested? Check out the website and sign up!
Office Exercises – There are plenty of exercises you can do in the office by yourself or with the team. Desk planks, wall squats, waist rotations and more. Check out modern office for a range of office based exercises or try some of the images below!
Sharing is Caring
Research shows that people tend to eat more carbohydrates in winter, which can often leave people feeling full and lethargic after lunch. You might find yourself more inclined to nap after lunch instead of taking that important call!
So, why not have people in your team make healthy protein fulled lunches once a week and enjoy a shared lunch. The perfect way to start or finish a working week this ensures people eat some nourishing food that is good for the mind and body, plus helps people connect and feed off each others energy.
Slow Cooked Winter Vegetable Soup – Creating a warming soup doesn’t even have to be time consuming – here is the perfect winter soup which can be made in a crock pot!
- 8 cups water
- 2 cans of lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or white wine)
Throw it all in a slow cooker and 8 hours later – voila! Fresh & healthy soup for a shared lunch and it was all done whilst you were sleeping! View the full recipe here
Brighten your day
Make sure all blinds and curtains are open in your office and that there is a sense of light. If your office isn’t a light and bright place, try and get some fresh air in your lunch break and absorb some light.
There has been a lot of chatter over the last year or so about the practice of gratitude. It is thought that gratitude is such a powerful emotion that it is quite difficult to feel depressed or sorry for yourself when you are feeling gratitude. Although this is good to practice it in life, it can be an even more powerful practice in the office.
Instead of focusing on what isn’t getting done, focus on what is. What do you love about your job and your colleagues – you might even take part in a group gratitude session. Before you scoff, give it a try!
- Practice sincerity – Treat others with respect and integrity and take time to actually listen.
- Be humble – Practice humility and allow others can feel empowered. If a colleague has helped you, let them know and allow them to enjoy the win.
“These seemingly “soft” topics can have a hard return in engagement.”
We can all feel the winter blues, but if you do something each day to try and beat them – it will be spring before you know it!
Why not start the process with your colleagues or team members today and see how it can change the mindset of your workplace.
Alternatively, maybe a new job is the only way to beat your winter blues!! Check our our vacancies and see if something takes your energy level from 0 to hero!