How to Deal with Shorter and Darker Days When Remote Working
Winter can bring plenty of positives, from celebrating the festive season to enjoying cosy evenings. But when Daylight Savings ends in October, we also have to deal with shorter, darker days, which can really affect our mood.
There’s evidence to suggest that with less daylight to trigger our usual production of melatonin and serotonin, darker winter days can make us feel fatigued and unmotivated. It can also cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or winter depression, symptoms of which include a persistent low mood, feeling lethargic, and a loss of interest in normal activities. Combine all of this with remote working, where you are at risk of feeling isolated from your colleagues and other people, and the winter days can really prove to be a struggle.
However, there are steps we can take to help us through the winter days, to boost our mood and keep us motivated and productive. Below are some helpful ways to deal with shorter and darker days when you’re working remotely.
You should use the opportunity of darker evenings to get more sleep. Most people don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but with darker evenings you might find it easier to get an early night. Even getting an extra 30 minutes to an hour can be a huge benefit to your health, helping your body to restore and helping you to feel refreshed in the morning.
With more sleep, your cognitive functions will improve, meaning you’ll be better able to concentrate and problem-solve. When you get more sleep, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to work and it will be easier to stay productive throughout the day.
Whilst it might be difficult to find the motivation to get up and exercise in the winter, it can be one of the best tools to combat the darker days. When you exercise, your body releases mood-boosting endorphins which can help to make you feel happier even on dark days.
If you would usually go for a run before or after work, but don’t fancy exercising out in the dark, take this opportunity to embrace a new challenge. Try an online aerobics class or yoga session. Or, if you still want to keep your daily run in your routine, you could change your schedule so you run on your lunch break – doing this will not only boost your mood from the exercise but will also help by being outside in natural light. Even walking for 30 minutes to an hour will help you to work more productively and boost your mood.
Make the Most of Your Breaks
Giving yourself an appropriate schedule of work time and break time will help you to work more efficiently and productively throughout the day. By taking regular breaks, you’ll give yourself a chance to recharge and will find it easier to focus when you return to working.
You should make the most of your breaks by using them to help combat the negative feelings that can come with shorter, darker days. You could try to implement some desk exercise taking short breaks to do some stretches and get your body moving. Or you could wrap up warm and enjoy a warm drink outside in the sunshine, to get some natural light. You could try some mindful meditation to help you to reset and to keep a healthy mind.
Not only will regular breaks help with your productivity, but they’ll also help you to avoid work from home stress and burnout symptoms. Working too much will eventually lead you to becoming over-stressed, affecting your mood and productivity. When you look after your wellbeing working from home, you can stay motivated and help improve your mood.
Let in Light
As well as getting outside in the daylight, you should also let as much light in as possible. You should aim to set up your home office in a room that has lots of natural light, to make the most of the daylight for the short time it’s there. You should also ensure you have plenty of light for when it gets dark, with plenty of room lighting, like a desk lamp.
Increasing the amount of light in your environment, both natural and artificial, will help to combat the tiring effects of shorter, darker days. Light will help to keep you in your natural circadian rhythm. This means your body will know when it is daytime and when it is night time and can release the appropriate hormones for you to function properly.
Create a Vibrant and Cosy Working Environment
When you work from home, your home office should be a cosy and vibrant environment. Our minds are easily affected by visual stimuli, so by setting up your home office to be a place that you are happy to work in, you’ll find it easier to stay motivated and productive.
The Cosy range from Leitz includes all your work from home essentials, available in our range of Cosy colours to suit every interior. Mix and match items to create a home office that reflects your personality and lifestyle. As well as looking visually appealing, having the right work from home accessories will help you to stay organised, which will also mean you can work more efficiently.
Keep in Touch with Colleagues
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to feel isolated from other people. With shorter days, you might also feel less motivated to go out to social occasions after work, which can just exacerbate the feelings of loneliness.
So, you should try to keep in touch with your colleagues, both socially and for work matters. Make sure to check-in with colleagues regularly. You could set up specific chat threads to talk about social matters or schedule a weekly or monthly video call for an informal catch-up. You should also make sure to organise meetings to discuss work projects, so you can make sure you’re involved and more engaged with what’s going on.
Eat Nutritional Food
When the evenings turn dark, you might be less motivated to cook a meal, instead opting to get a takeaway. But the food you eat can help to alleviate the negative feelings that come with darker days, like a low mood and fatigue.
It’s even more vital to make sure you’re getting plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet during the winter months, even if you’re probably craving carb-heavy meals and sugary snacks. But this type of food will just lead to you crashing and feeling even more tired – nutritional food packed full of vitamins will help boost your energy more sustainably. Cooking a meal in the evening can also help to give you an engaging but cosy activity to do when it’s dark, helping to improve your mood.
Leitz has a huge range of work from home ideas so you can create your ideal working from home environment, to keep you motivated, happy, and productive. Take a look at our home office essentials today.
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