10 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues at Work and Stay Motivated
Returning to work after the Christmas holidays can be difficult. No matter how much you love your job, it can be a struggle to get motivated to work after spending time celebrating with your loved ones. Combine that with the colder weather and darker days, and you could find that the Winter blues really begin to creep in.
However, there are some steps we can take to help us to stay motivated and productive throughout Winter, whilst also taking care of our health and wellbeing at work. Below are our tips to beat the Winter blues.
Revamp Your Morning Routine
Whilst you should avoid making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions for yourself, Winter can be a great time to review your morning routine to see where you can improve it. You should give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get ready, so you don’t start the day off stressed out. If you can, give yourself some extra time to do something to take care of yourself and get in the right mindset for the day, like eating a nutritious breakfast, working out, or meditating for a healthy mind.
You should be realistic with what you can achieve – if you’re not naturally a morning person you shouldn’t try to get up at 05.30 on the first Monday back to work. But just setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier can give you the time you need to prepare yourself for the day and take part in a calming or motivating activity.
Organise Your Work Station
Your workspace will have a huge effect on how you work. Whether you work from home or the office, if you’ve left your workstation disorganised and cluttered before the Christmas holidays, you should take some time when you’re back to organise it properly. When your workstation is organised, you’ll be able to work much more efficiently.
You might need some desk organisers to tidy up your workstation, like the Leitz Desk Organiser with inductive Charger, which you can use to keep your tools organised and also keep your phone charged and ready to go. Or you might prefer the Leitz Cosy Pen Pot, so you can mix and match your office equipment with the entire Leitz Cosy Range and create a working environment that’s aesthetically pleasing and keeps you motivated.
If you’ve spent some time away from your desk over the Christmas period, you might have noticed that you have fewer aches and pains than when you’re working. In that case, you should look for office equipment to improve posture, like the Leitz Ergo Cosy Adjustable Laptop Stand. By setting up your workstation with ergonomic equipment, you can help to banish the aches that come with bad posture and help you focus on your work instead.
Tackle the Smaller Tasks First
When you first get back to your desk after Christmas, you could be faced with an overwhelming list of tasks that you put off in December or that have come in over the Christmas break. You might be able to work more productively if you start working though the smaller tasks first. They might not be the most urgent, but by ticking a few tasks off your list, you’ll find what you’ve got left much more manageable. You’ll probably also find it easier to start working when you begin with something more simple, and then you’ll have the momentum to keep working and deal with the bigger tasks and projects.
If you’re working too much throughout the day, you could be more at risk of burnout symptoms, like feeling exhausted, being self-critical, and feeling overwhelmed. It might seem counter-productive, but by taking regular breaks throughout the working day you can make sure you stay focused and also avoid burnout. Even taking a short five or ten minute break can help you to reset and refocus. Use your breaks to step outside for some fresh air or do some desk exercise to get your body moving. Whatever you do, make sure you fully leave work behind for the duration of your break. You’ll be able to work much more efficiently and productively when you return to working.
Catch Up with Colleagues
Whilst you might find it more important to get stuck into your work in Winter, you should make sure to also take some time to catch up with your colleagues. If you’re remote working, video call a colleague when you take a coffee break. If you’re in the office, ask a colleague to go for a quick walk outside so you can get some fresh air and have a chat. This can help everyone to feel less isolated and alone and help everyone to work together as a team.
Set Yourself Career Goals for the Year
Having something to aim for can be a real motivator when you’re working. You should set yourself some realistic career goals, or a target for where you want to be at the end of the year. It might be that you want to aim for a promotion, a change of career, or just something small like doing your first public presentation. Whatever you want to achieve, write it down and think about what you need to do to achieve that goal. When your work aligns with your goals, you’ll be energised and motivated to succeed.
Winter can be especially gloomy with the harsh weather and short, dark days, especially when we don’t have the promise of Christmas to look forward to like we do in November and December. However, this is the perfect time to remember the Danish concept of ‘hygge’, which refers to cosy and cherished moments. If you’re working from home, set up a cosy area where you can retreat to in the evenings or on a break, to read a book or enjoy a warm drink. If you’re in the office, see if it’s possible to take over a spare meeting room or the break room for a hygge area, with blankets and cushions, where people can go to relax and reset. You could also try baking a new recipe, whether for yourself at home or to bring in treats for your workmates in the office.
Remember the Positives
It’s important to remember the positive moments, especially when you could otherwise be overwhelmed with the negatives. You could write down a few things that you’re grateful for every day, to keep those things in mind. If you have a regular team meeting, see if you can take some time for everyone to share one positive thing that’s happened to them that week. Or if you’re remote working, set up a message thread solely to share positive news that might have happened throughout the week. The news could be work related or personal, but by sharing the positives with others, you can help raise everyone’s mood and keep motivated.
Spend Time Outside
It can be too easy to spend all your time inside during Winter, but by getting outside in the daylight and fresh air, you can really help to boost your mood. You could go for a walk on your lunch break or wrap up warm and enjoy a cup of coffee outside. If you’re in the office, take a colleague with you or if you’re remote working, try to find a new area in your neighbourhood to explore. By being outside in the daylight, you can increase your serotonin levels in your body which can help you to feel happier. This in turn will make you feel more energised and ready to work.
Take Care of Your Body
This advice is relevant all year round, but especially in the gloomier winter months. You might be craving foods that are carb-heavy and full of sugars, but you should aim to get a healthy, balanced diet. The food you eat will really affect your mood and energy levels, so by making sure you’re eating nutritious meals and snacks, you can ensure you’re motivated and ready to work efficiently. It’s especially important to look at your work from home diet, where it can be easier to snack on unhealthy things that will cause your energy levels to crash.
You should also try to get plenty of exercise, whether you like going to the gym or taking part in a remote yoga class from home. You should find an activity that gets your body moving and also that you enjoy, so exercise doesn’t become a chore.
You should also make sure you get plenty of sleep, so you should find a calming bedtime routine that relaxes you. You might like to take a warm bath, ban screen time past a certain time in the evening, or light a candle and read a book. By getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you’ll wake up refreshed and with plenty of energy to tackle the day.
Leitz knows how important it is to look after your workplace wellbeing, especially to beat the Winter blues. We have a huge range of office equipment and work from home essentials so you can improve your work life by being more motivated and working more efficiently.
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