Combating the Winter Blues
As the seasons change, so do our moods. Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka the “Winter Blues”) tends to strike most people around the change from autumn to winter, and with it comes issues with sleep, concentration, and energy. These problems affect not only one’s home life, but also can have a significant impact on one’s job. How can you ensure both the health of your employees and your bottom line during this time of the year? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Encourage Employees to Stay Active. Exercise has been proven to be an effective way to boost one’s mood thanks to the endorphins released during physical activity. But when it’s cold outside, it can be hard to be motivated to get outside and move. Here are a few easy ways to stay active inside the office:• Work Standing Up: Find reasons to get up and standing instead of sitting in your chair all day. Stand and move while on phone calls. Instead of relying on instant messaging or Slack, walk over to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question. Try using a standing desk.• Take Breaks for Fitness: Refresh yourself with a quick walk around the office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand and stretch out every 30 to 45 minutes.• Utilize Your Lunch Break: Dedicate a few minutes of your lunch to some easy exercise. Lift some hand weights. Do some jumping jacks.
- Get Outside. Even if it’s chilly out, it’s still good to get outside and away from the fluorescent lighting and computer monitors. Fresh air and sunlight are important to keep yourself in balance. Plus getting a chance to go outside and think can do wonders for your creativity and productivity.
- Update Your Office Design. Just like spring cleaning can boost one’s psyche, changing up the office in winter can also have a positive effect. Find a space to allow employees to hang up their coats, scarves, and winter boots so they’re not cluttering up their personal work areas. Find places to incorporate warmer colors, which can boost one’s mood.
- Provide Healthy Snacks. Free food is always a welcome perk in any office. But find healthier alternatives to old standbys like donuts and pizza. Think about providing healthier options like fruit, nuts, packets of oatmeal, and hot tea.
- Promote Mental Wellness. The most important thing you can do to help the mental health of your employees is to encourage them to take care of it and provide them the resources to do so. Let employees know that they can replace the vitamin D they’re missing from the sun with a supplement or multi-vitamin. Encourage honesty from your employees and have understanding on your part. If they’re getting in late, maybe they’re struggling with their sleep schedule – maybe you can adjust their schedule. If you have noticed a change in mood, don’t ignore it – talk to them about it. Find resources like counseling to refer your employees to, and make sure they know that while their work is important, their health comes first. If your company offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), be sure to promote it and remind your employees about its potential benefits.
There are plenty of other ways to help your employees during this time of year, including cutting down on the amount of time they’re stuck on the phone instead of taking care of themselves. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your calls so your employees can focus on staying active and productive during the winter season.