5 Ways To Stay Happy This Winter Working From Home

The worst thing about working from home in the Winter is feeling like you missed out on actual daylight.  Despite the clocks changing it is still so dark at 7:30am which makes it feel like all my downtime is in the dark. Winter blues and 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 our serotonin levels (which contribute to our happiness and well-being) and an increase in melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep) which in turn makes us start to feel all out of whack. But there are a few simple and essential tips for working at home to help survive the winter blues, increase your serotonin levels, look after your well-being and keep those winter blues at bay.

5 Ways To Stay Happy This Winter Working From Home

5 Ways To Stay Happy This Winter Working From Home:

1. Build A Community

Never ever underestimate the value of your support network/tribe for your mental well-being. In the Winter months, loneliness will be a contributing factor to winter blues and feeling down and grumpy which affects productivity and our mood.  Socialising increases our serotonin levels, making us happy, which in turn increases productivity, and creativity, makes us better at problem-solving and more effective decision-makers.  When you spend time with someone who makes you feel happy, positive and enthused, you want to repeat that transaction again and again. Why is that? Because the positive feelings, you generate by being friendly to one person extend beyond that one actual interaction.  Positive vibes; Your vibe attracts Your tribeIt’s a common myth that success makes you happy, however, it is actually the other way around. Being happy brings more enjoyment and success into your life. 

Although it’s dark, cold, and sometimes raining, still try and get out, especially if you can feel your mood declining.

➡️ Get out to your usual networking events.
Meet someone for coffee ☕.
➡️ Meet up and go for a walk.
➡️ Meet in a cafe for a spot of co-working.
➡️ Check-in with friends online via messenger chat, text or give them a call.

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2. Adequate Lighting

You’d be surprised by the benefits of more natural lighting within your home office space. Do not sit in a dark or dimly lit room, as these long, dark, and gloomy days, especially those when it rains, have a negative effect on both your mood and productivity.  There are actually some light bulbs on the market that can mimic natural daylight and LED light bulbs help to stop that artificial orange glow of a more traditional light bulb, which is proven to give you that mid-afternoon slump, induce winter blues, and headaches.

LED light bulbs also offer up to 90% less energy consumption providing big savings on your electricity bills.

3. Fresh Air

Alfred Wainwright wrote “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” in his 1973 book Coast to Coast and he wasn’t wrong! Wearing the right clothing for a winter walk with children and adults will make all the difference to everyone’s enjoyment. But with a Land’s End women’s quilted & padded coat or a PrimaLoft® 3-in-1 Waterproof Jacket, both David and I are snug as a bug, especially on those cold Sunday afternoons watching our son play football.  You can’t go wrong investing in a 3-in-1 jacket, a waterproof outer layer, and an inner layer which can be worn together or apart and whilst black and grey aren’t the most interesting of colours gives the jacket longevity as they will always be in fashion.

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, leave my office and socialise too. The health benefits of walking and the restorative properties of being outside include;

➡️ Increases your heart rate
➡️ Reduces fatigue
➡️ Increases circulation
➡️ Improves heart health
➡️ Increases energy levels
➡️ Improves your mood
➡️ Increases productivity
➡️ Improves short-term memory
➡️ Reduces stress levels

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!  As adults, we need this too.

Why not try setting yourself a monthly or even yearly walking challenge, that you can do solo or include your family. Aim to make the distance goal realistic, but a bit of a challenge too, sometimes for me just walking 6,000 steps a day is neigh on impossible without adding an actual short walk, the joys of office working. Also if like me you love adding things to your goals book grab a printable family walk tracker which will act as a visual reward/reminder for each walk you take.

4. Keep A Journal:

Writing things down helps 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 an active meditation that 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 so 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.printkick notebooks

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 naturally high sources of Vitamin D and together make an amazing omelette.

How do you look after your well-being in the colder, darker months to combat those winter blues?

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  1. November 9, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    This was such a great post – I work from home and can feel a bit lonely during the colder darker months as I’m not getting out as much. I totally agree with you about how just a 10-minute walk can make such a difference to productivity and motivational levels. x

  2. November 9, 2018 / 1:50 pm

    I think winter is a great time to be working from home, because you don’t have to go out in the cold and the rain. The big challenge I find is getting any sunshine at all – it gets dark so quickly. So I get my walks in early, or at least a visit to the back garden for some fresh air.

  3. February 5, 2023 / 7:37 pm

    These are such great tips. It can feel really isolating working from home, especially when the weather isn’t great.