At the time of writing, it is November 6th, 2018 here in Michigan, and the most recent forecasts tell us snow is on the way. Daylight Savings time set us back an hour… The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting darker…
For many folks, this is the time of year to hunker down and wait out the harsh season. If you aren’t going to be subjected to such conditions, you’re missing out! Although winter is quite a big change, there are ways to keep your energy, immune system, and mood at a high level without too much of a change to your lifestyle – or workday.
1. Bring Creature Comforts to The Office
Dropping temperatures means feeling cold, of course – and for many people, the first thing to get cold are their hands and feet.
This can make for a miserable day sitting at a desk and staring at a computer monitor. If this sounds familiar, you can try bringing a blanket, slippers, or winter hat into the office. Maybe a favorite sweater… Anything to keep you warm and cozy, and keep those frigid feelings at bay!
2. Brighten Your Desk With a Light Box
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a type of depression that many folks in colder climates will experience. Before we go any further, you should confirm with your doctor that you suffer from SAD.
Light boxes are one of the more common ways people help to fight SAD in the winter months. These boxes mimic natural light, and are said to lift your mood when daylight is in short supply. Light boxes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so you should be able to get one from a number of locations.
To learn more about what kind of light box you should be buying, as well as suggested uses, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.
3. Dress for The Weather
This one may seem obvious, but it always helps to be wearing the right clothing! There is no victory in holding out as long as you can before putting away the shorts and breaking out the winter coats…
Tired of having wet feet everyday? Maybe it’s time to buy those new winter boots you have been looking at for a few years. Cold every time you step outside? Haul the jackets out of the closet.
Sure, the clothing transition can be a couple hours worth of work, putting away spring summer clothes and digging out the fall/winter wardrobe, but it’s worth it to be able to walk outside without shivering and shaking…
4. Outdoor Activity!
Of all the tips given here, this one may seem like the hardest to implement… But keeping up some level of physical activity in the winter is highly beneficial.
We wrote about the office benefits of leading an active lifestyle this past summer, when LongerDays participated in an office-wide fitness challenge (you can read more about that here), but it isn’t necessarily easy to keep that mindset up going into winter.
Try fun things! Take your kids, family, or friends sledding. Go ice skating. Strap on some snowshoes or try cross-country skiing. If you’re a first time, find people in your office who also haven’t done these things and ask them to join you! Learning together is more enjoyable, and you’ll probably have something to laugh about on Monday.
5. Winter Food, Hydration, and Vitamin D
Diets in the winter tend to be very carb and meat heavy – with lots of stews and potato-based dishes as cold weather staples. It’s important to keep eating vegetables and fruits too!
Depending on your access to such things, you may want to up your intake of such foods to keep your immune system thriving. Keeping a well-balanced diet can really help with winter sluggishness as well. With all the precipitation going on (and less heat-induced thirsts), you may forget to drink enough water, too.
If you live in a particularly cloudy environment, you may want to consider a vitamin D supplement to help your body when the sun isn’t shining.
All of this will help you feeling your best, which means happier, more productive work days, better moods around the office, and staying healthy while the snow falls.
This is what we do at LongerDays to fight the winter blues, but this list is far from everything you can do.
What do you do, fellow office workers, to keep your energy up in the winter and fight back against that sluggish feeling?
Let us know in the comments!