Winter is a great time for ski holidays, getting cozy indoors, or enjoying hot chocolate whenever you want, but the season may have a negative effect on your performance at work.
Colder weather and shorter days could leave some of us vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some of us may be a little bluesy, or suffer from low-energy levels and lethargy. This can all make a regular workday feel a little more challenging than usual.
If you want to stay motivated, focused, and productive through the winter months, here are some tips to help keep your spirits up as you breeze through your tasks at work.
Use Light Boxes
Along with making sure you have the right lighting that's bright enough for your workspace, light therapy boxes can also be a useful way to treat SAD by simulating the mood-lifting effects that natural sunlight has on the body, and aiding in the release of the feel-good hormone Serotonin. In order for a light box to help with SAD, it needs to emit lights of at least 2,500 lux. Even if you don’t suffer from SAD, you can still introduce the uplifting effect of light boxes to your workplace with products such as a the My Cinema Lightbox that lets you slide in your own cinema marquis letterings, or a coffee or side table light box.
Introduce Plants and Living Green Walls
Plants are known to help increase our oxygen intake, and researchers have found that they can increase office productivity, as well as reduce stress and the number of sick days taken. Sagegreenlife’s Verdanta Collection of living green walls and office partitions are portable, easy-to-maintain, and ideal for bringing a little green into your office or home workstation during the winter months. The Babylon Light by Object/Interface combines the benefits of living plant life with light therapy to bring both greenery and illumination to your workplace.
Add Bright Colors
It’s no secret that bright and cheerful colors, such as sunshine yellows, flamingo pinks, fire-engine reds, and baby blues, can make us feel more alert and upbeat. If you want to go all out, you can do what Australian architect Andrew Maynard did with his home-based studio: paint the floors and stairs bright yellow for a psychologically healthy and energizing effect. Or, you can make smaller adjustments by adding a funky, colorful rug to your home office.
Keep Your Desk Tidy
Even on sunnier days, a messy desk can lead to a sleepy or cluttered mind. A healthy and happy workplace is a clean and tidy one, so organize your desk with stationary, filing, and storage systems so that it’s neat and welcoming.
Dry winter air and indoor heating can cause stuffiness, colds, or sinus problems, not to mention, uncomfortable dry skin and thirst. Keep yourself well-hydrated by placing a humidifier on or below your desk, and a large jug or water close at hand, so your remember to drink enough liquids during the day.