The worst thing about working from home in the Winter is feeling like you missed any daylight hours. Despite the clocks changing it still so dark at 7:30am! It literally feels like all my downtime is in the dark. Winter depression is a real thing, SAD or seasonal affective disorder affects our life and can make us feel quite frankly 💩. In the Winter months we feel a decrease in serotonin (happiness and wellbeing) and an increase in melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep) which in turn makes us all out of whack. But there are few simple things you can do to help increase your serotonin levels, look after your wellbeing and keep the winter blues at bay.
5 Ways To Stay Happy This Winter Working From Home :
1. Community : Never ever underestimate the value your support network/tribe are. In the Winter months loneliness will be a contributing factor to feeling down. Although it’s dark or raining, still try and get out to your monthly networking events, catch up with a friend for coffee, get out of your home office for a spot of co-working. Check in with friends online via messenger chat, text or give them a call.
2. Lights : You’d be surprised the benefits of more natural light. Don’t sit in the dark or a dimly lit room, try keeping your lights on. The days can feel long, dark and gloomy especially when it rains, this has an effect on both your mood and productivity. Some light bulbs can even mimic natural daylight and LED light bulbs stop that artificial orange glow of traditional light bulbs, which give you that mid-afternoon slump and headache. LED light bulbs also offer up to 90% less energy consumption providing big savings on your electricity bills.
3. Fresh Air : I sometimes think I’m starting to sound like a broken record BUT getting outside in the fresh air is so good for your health and it’s free! I love my monthly netwalking session making me get outside. You don’t even need to walk fast brisk, but still able to talk. Walking increases your heart rate, reduces fatigue and increases circulation, all in turn improving your heart health. After a walk you will notice increased energy levels, self-esteem and ultimately improves your mood which for me increases productivity. Being outdoors also has restorative properties, such as increasing your short term memory and reducing stress. As a mum I realise how important fresh air is in taming the children. We can have hours of arguing, but even just a 10 minute walk improves everyone’s mood, blows away the cobwebs and installs an air of calm, meaning we can snuggle down watch a film, doodle in our diaries and do a puzzle without the bickering!
4. Keep a Journal : Writing things down help you to process what is going on in your mind. Take the time every day to write down one positive thing or something you are grateful for. Keeping a gratitude list helps you focus on the positive aspects of your day rather than being consumed by the negative. Drawing and colouring is active meditation which focuses our attention on one simple task requiring repetitive motion and this is exactly what colouring in does. Concentrating in this manner replaces negative thoughts creating a state of peace without even trying. Journaling is totally something you can do in the evenings in front of the TV or with the children. Children are some much better at doodling than adults as they don’t get consumed by the idea of perfection they just go with the flow and how they feel.
5. Vitamin D : Winter months see a decline in our Vitamin D, or the sunshine vitamin, levels as we literally get less daylight/sunshine. Obviously moving to sunnier climates for the Winter isn’t exactly practical, but I’m definitely putting it on my vision board. Consider taking supplements or look at what you eat. Milk, egg yolk, mushrooms and bony fish are a naturally high source of Vitamin D and together make an amazing omelette.
How do you look after your wellbeing in the Winter months?
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