As the colder months creep in, the uplifting taste of summer starts to dwindle away and all that’s left is a gloomy aftertaste. Staying motivated during shorter days and fluctuating weather can be extremely difficult, especially when paired with the daunting deadlines that sneak up on you at this time of the year.
To help keep your spirits high and your professional wheels turning, here are 7 tips to keep you inspired:
While you’re assembling fluffy blankets on your couch, consider also preparing your mind mentally to set yourself up for the winter.
Plan mood-boosting activities with friends and family so you can have regularly occurring gatherings that can continue during colder months. Some favorite indoor activities can be pumpkin carving, baking and decorating cookies, or cozy movie nights. Having exciting pastimes at home will even lighten up days in the office.
But, who said you can’t bring the party to work? Inviting colleagues to participate in fall and winter themed team building activities will not only strengthen professional bonds but also give a little sparkle to the dull days ahead. Activities can include Thanksgiving themed Trivia or Halloween themed Pictionary.
Trying to come up with plans when winter blues have already set in is hard—starting early can give you a positive outlook on the upcoming months.
Creating and sticking to a regulated schedule is vital if you are someone who cannot sleep at night and get up in the morning.
Creating and sticking to a routine is known to improve sleep, allow exposure to light at consistent and predictable times, and create a consistent eating schedule to avoid overeating or eating too little.
Maintaining consistency, especially in terms of sleeping and eating, can significantly impact motivation levels so you won’t be drowsy at your desk or sporting bags under your eyes for a big end-of-term presentation.
Colder months make you want to stay inside all day, but it’s important to get your blood flowing to alleviate feelings of hopelessness and depression, or even just somber-for-the-day moods.
Staying vigilant with physical movement and exercise, specifically outdoors, not only gets you up and out of your house, but also releases endorphins that spreads euphoria through your mind and body.
Regular exercise relieves stress, improves moods, increases energy and mental alertness, and reduces tiredness. It’s a great way to keep your body pumped and your mind healthy to tackle the neverending tasks at work efficiently.
Sitting in an office or cubicle, watching the sky go dark by 4 p.m. definitely does not keep motivation levels high.
Decorating your space can uplift working hours even when the sun is gone for the day.
Whether it’s fake but adorable pumpkins from HomeGoods, a jar of candy corn, or a picture of your favorite person in their most hilarious Halloween costume, your desk deserves some sprucing.
Aromatherapy—using essential oils for therapeutic purposes—is seen to lessen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.
Adding a few aesthetically pleasing aroma sticks or soothing body oils to your workspace can improve your mental well being and add charm to your desk. You can even choose winter-themed scents, like peppermint! Jewelry infused with essential oils is another (fashionable) way to control negative moods from creeping in.
Work can get increasingly overwhelming and overbearing in colder months because of the important end of term tasks that pile up, but it is equally as essential to take a break when necessary.
For some this could mean bundling up and taking a stroll during the sunny parts of the workday, while for others a vacation or ‘staycation’ can help you escape the dread of sitting at a desk.
A short break from your daily routine—doing anything that excites you—can lift your mood, and since this can vary person to person, the choice is really up to you. Go out and get a coffee, meet your friend for lunch, plan a romantic getaway, get your nails done; do whatever calls out to you and reward yourself for the hard work you put in everyday.
A lot of the time, our minds are overflowing with thoughts and there’s not enough space up there for work issues to be added on.
Journaling is a creative and effective outlet to write down whatever is on your mind that day—something pretty you saw, someone fun you met, what intrigued you, what upset you, who pissed you off. Feeling negative and positive emotions through the written word positively affects your mood and allows you to get in touch with the little (or big) things racing through your mind.
Bottling up emotions, regardless of what they are, can distract you professionally and reduce your drive to work, so allowing yourself to feel is extremely beneficial.
The coming months can be discouraging, but understanding and anticipating your needs can significantly help you battle the feelings of decreased motivation until the flowers bloom again. Try these steps and don’t let the cold hinder you from excelling!