Mastering Winter: A Guide to Achieving Your Best in the Cold Months
How have you been?
As good as can be expected in …*shudder*… winter?
There’s a lot to love about the colder months, but there’s no denying; winter can get pretty tough.
The short days, long nights and freezing cold can make us feel like we’re in a never-ending cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat.
People typically feel lower in the winter months when there is less natural sunlight. It is estimated that up to 6% of the UK population experiences SAD, with symptoms ranging from low energy and mood to difficulty concentrating and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
Not only do these winter months impact your emotional well-being but they can have a significant impact on your career and work performance.
According to a study by the American Psychological Association, individuals with SAD report more work absences, lower job satisfaction, and decreased work performance compared to those without the condition.
If you’re trying to get ahead at work, this can be a major drain on your success.
The good news is, with the right strategies in place, individuals who feel those winter blues can still keep their productivity in motion.
So what can I do to boost my mental health in winter?
A Few Tips…
Get Exposure to Natural Light
- The sun is often called the “natural antidepressant,” and for a good reason. Try to spend time outdoors during the daytime and make a conscious effort to get some sun on your face.
Exercise Regularly Exercise
- Don’t get me wrong – nobody wants to be taking a jog in the pitch-black freezing hellscape that is February at 7 am. However, the facts don’t lie; exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Something as simple as a 30-minute walk each day can make a big difference.
Practice Good Sleep Habits
- Getting enough sleep is crucial for good mental health, and it’s especially important for those with SAD. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help improve the quality of your sleep.
Connect with Others
- Humans are social creatures, and spending time with loved ones and participating in social activities can improve your mood and provide a sense of support.
- Whether it’s going out for coffee with a friend, joining a local club, or volunteering for a cause you care about, connecting with others can help you feel less isolated and more connected to your community.
Eat a Healthy Diet
- A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can provide the necessary nutrients for good mental health. Foods high in vitamin D, such as salmon, eggs, and mushrooms, are especially important for those with SAD. So, say goodbye to junk food and hello to a balanced diet. Your brain will thank you.
Okay, that’s all part of living a full life, but what if you’re feeling your winter vibes are dragging your career? After all, operating for 3-4 months of the year in sub-par productivity can be demotivating.
With the right strategy in place, Winter can be a great time to get ahead of the game.
Photo by cottonbro studio
How a Career Coach Could Turn Your Winter Upside Down
Improved work performance
It’s official, productivity slumps in winter.
That’s not just you – that’s everyone. Especially for those who suffer from SAD, winter causes symptoms such as fatigue, lack of motivation, and decreased productivity.
But what if instead of drifting down the sluggish winter with the rest of your colleagues, you were turbocharging your work and feeling happier doing so. You’d stand out like a super-productive thumb.
Career coaching helps people improve their work performance. It’s as simple as that. And if you’re gunning for a promotion and want to get noticed, then your hard work and performance will be especially noticeable during the winter months!
A good career coach will help you set goals and hold you accountable so you achieve them. This feeling of achievement and progress is truly one of the greatest feelings in life – if you’re constantly setting goals, challenging yourself to achieve them, and beating them, there is nothing better.
It’s also a key antidote to the feeling of treating water we often feel in winter. When every day feels the same, setting and achieving goals is an amazing way to make the clock feel like it’s ticking and spring is on the way.
Improving Time Management
A study by the Journal of Business and Psychology found that individuals who engage in time management practices, such as setting goals and prioritizing tasks, have higher levels of job satisfaction and decreased stress.
You hear that? More satisfaction and less stress. Give me a slice of that. Career coaches can help individuals improve their time management skills and create a plan for success.
Having someone to listen
Seriously, when was the last time you had someone who seriously listened to you, without judgement, without an agenda? In a safe space where you can air your thoughts.
Do you have blocks that you cannot get past? Goals that keep slipping you by? Struggling at it alone won’t fix it. Getting someone else on board could change the game.
Those winter blues can cause feelings of self-doubt, low self-esteem, and decreased confidence. A career coach can help individuals build their self-confidence and believe in their abilities to succeed in their careers.
Believing you can achieve your goal is, after all, the first step to getting there.
You might be nailing the social and health aspects of your life, but you spend most of your life at work – if you’re not making that the best then you’re missing a trick.
Photo by Pixabay
These winter months don’t have to get you down. However, with a few simple changes, you can get the most out of them. Get outside, get active, get some rest, connect with others, eat well, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
But if you want to make this time not just bearable, but positively positive, get a career coach.
Career coaching can play a significant role in helping individuals achieve their career goals. You’ll find strategies to improve work-life balance, boost productivity, enhance mental health, and achieve your career aspirations.
It could be the best decision you’ve ever made…
If you or someone you know is feeling like they’re stuck in the mud, or just eager to make their time count, why not reach out to Forward for a free consultation.