Short days + cold weather + comfort food = the perfect recipe for a tired mind and body! Here are some easy ways you can stay productive during the darkest and coldest months of the year.
1) Spring clean (3 months early)
Use the cold weather as motivation to stay indoors and organize your work area! This isn’t limited to your physical space – get to cleaning up those files on your computer, emails in your inbox, and unnecessary notifications. Studies have shown that clutter overstimulates our minds and creates distractions, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
2) Stay active
While the cold is a nice excuse to attempt hibernation, staying active can help reduce stress and fight those winter blues. Here’s some ideas on how to stay physically and mentally active this winter:
• Turn meetings into walking meetings.
• Eat lunch with coworkers (not at your desk!).
• Stretch at your desk.
• Read a book during breaks.
3) Let there be light!
Exposure to sunlight has been linked to increased energy and an improved mood – so take advantage of those limited daylight hours. Something as simple as heading outside for a brief walk or working near a window can make a difference!
4) You are what you eat
It seems impossible to escape the endless supply of tasty treats this time of year. It’s important to remember that food is fuel, so be sure you are still eating plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein! Staying hydrated is also a great way to boost your energy, prevent headaches, and fight off dry skin.
5) Be S.M.A.R.T.
Start planning for the new year, now! And let’s be SMART about it- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound. Here’s a few tips to keep your goals on track:
• Instead of having one big resolution, create smaller goals you can track over time.
• Forget the all-or-nothing thinking. The slightest amount of progress is progress, don’t give up!
• Who cares if it’s before or after that arbitrary date we call New Year’s Day. It’s never too early or too late to start working on your goals.
It’s important to first take care of ourselves, only then will we have the energy and strength to be productive! While winter can be challenging, these simple actions will help support your mental and physical health. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out these additional resources: