How to Thrive at Work Through the Gloomiest Time of the Year

February 15, 2023

In many areas, January and February are the gloomiest times of the year as low temperatures, intermittent storms, seasonal illnesses, and post-holiday blues all take hold. How do you stay motivated and energized during this difficult time of year? Here are a few tips and tricks to start 2023 out on the right foot.

Avoid isolation

It can be easy to become isolated during the winter months. It’s convenient to stay indoors due to clouds, snow and the cold. The best solution is to proactively socialize. Whether you’re working from home or the office, reach out to colleagues during the day to talk through issues or just discuss how the day is going. Make plans with family and friends after work, or have an errand scheduled each day to get out and about.

Develop a positive routine

During wintertime, all the days can start to feel the same, and it’s easy to fall into a personal and professional slump. Develop a routine that incorporates activities that increase dopamine and serotonin levels to get you feeling positive. Start your day with your favorite breakfast to get going on the right foot. Schedule time in your day to stretch and walk around. After work, consider participating in group activities like yoga or indoor cycling.

Get some sunshine

When the sun is out, take advantage! Get outside whenever the weather allows and soak up some sunlight. A lack of sunlight can lead to fatigue, low mood and altered sleep patterns, so spending time outdoors and breathing fresh air can help alleviate these effects. A few ways to get your daily dose of sunshine could be by enjoying your morning coffee outside, taking a 10-minute walk outside after lunch to recharge, or setting up your workstation by a window facing the sun.

Maintain a well-balanced diet

Many of us spend the winter indoors, leading to overindulging on comfort foods and snacks laying around the home or office. And although we should treat ourselves occasionally, unnourishing foods can cause our minds and bodies to crash after we eat them. According to a 2021 Journal of Applied Psychology study, unhealthy eating choices result in less productivity. Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet full of plenty of whole foods, fruits, and vegetables this winter to keep your energy levels high and immune system boosted.

Most importantly, try to stay positive – our productivity levels often reflect our attitudes. Create small goals to accomplish each day, keeping a forward-thinking mindset and looking for new ways to challenge yourself!

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