Hope that everyone had a happy holiday and a wonderful new year! After some (much needed) time off, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things at work. Since I know that can be easier said than done, here are some tips for staying on your game (and staying sane) during these cold winter months:
- Brighten up your workspace. There is a constant battle taking place in my office over the light switches – some people like to work with the lights on, while others prefer sitting in the dark. However since January and February have a tendency to be dreary, and our body craves daylight during the winter months, sitting in the dark can be an issue. Luckily, this can be solved by simply getting a lamp for your desk, as sitting next to artificial light for as little as 30 minutes a day can be as effective as antidepressants.
- Eat well. During these chilly months, it can be hard to resist all the warm, carb-heavy foods beckoning you during your lunch break. However, in addition to preventing you from falling into a food coma at your desk, eating well can help your immune system stay strong while the flu and winter colds are going around your office. Luckily, that extra chocolate you keep in your desk is actually good for you, as chocolate can help enhance your mood and relieve your anxiety.
- Exercise. Since sitting is now almost like the new smoking, including physical activity as part of our daily routine is important. Doctors recommended exercising 30 minutes a day, or 60 minutes every other day, but we all know that our workout plans don’t always happen (despite our best efforts). However, exercise can ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and exercise during the winter actually burns more calories and is better for your heart.
- Listen to a podcast. If you’re anything like me, sometimes you need to tune out what’s going on around you in order to get work done. At the risk of sometimes laughing out loud alone at my desk, I often listen to stand-up comedy and comedic podcasts to keep my focus in check. Personally, I love listening to Comedy Bang Bang and Gilmore Guys to make the afternoons go by a little faster.
- Plan your vacation days! One of the best parts of the New Year is that our vacation days start over! Research shows that just planning a vacation can cause a significant increase in overall happiness. So, even if you can’t afford that fabulous trip to Bora Bora right now, planning the trip for the future is actually good for you.