If you look out the window and you don’t know if it is 6 pm or midnight, you know daylight saving is well and truly over. With our clocks falling back an hour and the first sprinkling of snow on the mountain, we are all preparing for the winter months ahead. If you are prone to experiencing the “winter blues” you are not alone. The shorter daylight hours and the lack of sunshine affecting our mood is a very real thing, with the days getting shorter and the majority of people are at work during peak daylight hours, it can wear down our mood even causing SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
SAD is a more extreme level of the winter blues, when symptoms are developed just over the winter months, making us prone to depression. As many of you know I am a huge advocate of mental health, having lived with it for 14 years, and coming out the other side, I have many tools to keep my health on track, and know I have to be extra vigilant over winter, even when all I feel like doing is Hibernating.
Those who believe they may be experiencing SAD should seek professional help, but by implementing these suggestions into your life, it may help prevent you from heading to your cave, only emerging on the suns return.
Maximising exposure to light, bringing positive energy to your work environment and connecting with people are all things that can help improve your mood.
Working from a Coworking space gets me out of the house and into the daylight, the work environment is hugely important for me and my well being.
Co-working provides a connection to others, which is paramount to me feeling worthy, well and apart of a community. The open space provides a lot of natural light, even in the winter months, plants bring more oxygen and nature indoors, being near the park and walkway encourages me to get out on my breaks for a walk, soaking up the limited vitamin dose that is much needed. Working from home can feel very isolated and lonely, being surrounded by others lifts morale and productivity, co-working combats these issues by getting you into a positive environment, even if it's just one or two days a week.
However, we don’t all have the flexibility to work like this, here are some suggestions you can incorporate into your work and home lifestyle to help combat the winter blues.
Plants increase oxygen in a space
Plants are proven to lower blood pressure, raise productivity and increase general wellbeing. Bring a potted plant to work, and introduce plants into your home.
Glass walls improve productivity
Wrap up warm and get out on your break, the natural light, and fresh air will lift your mood and release endorphins. Open up your blinds and curtains and let the natural light into your home. Try light therapy, change your bulbs to brighter white bulbs, light up that fire and use more candles over the winter months.
Build yourself a switch-off button
We tend to spend more time scrolling social media over the winter months, depending on who you follow can hugely affect your mood. Be aware of what you are consuming and how you feel after, cull the negative and only follow and read uplifting and inspiring people. This was paramount to my healing journey.
Fill up your daily schedule
When it is cold and dreary outside we usually feel like doing nothing other than wrapping up warm on the sofa and watching Netflix. Making plans will lift your moral and bring you a sense of purpose. Make a monthly date with your friends, it could be a games night, book club or movie night, try rotating dinner at each other’s place or trying out cosy restaurants and cafes around town, better yet if they have mulled wine and a fireplace.
Keep your morning routine
Sleep-ins sound magic under the feather duvet, but keeping a morning routine is so important to how your day will play out. All the top inspirational leaders will agree with this one. Find what works for you, making the bed, journaling, meditation and getting my blood flowing sets me up for a positive day, a healthy breakfast and coffee help too.
Stay active, exercise
A no brainer, but it is something that easily slides over the winter months, keeping up a regular healthy exercise routine will keep your mood uplifted and the body more energized. Try joining a class to keep you motivated like yoga, dance or circuit training. Joining a gym can be helpful, I love the feeling of working up a sweat when its cold and damp outside.
As you plan for this upcoming winter, make sure to include the above routines to have a healthy winter season. To mix things up with your home office, come and try our shared workspace for a week, our environment will organically help you tick all the above boxes.