With dark mornings and cold days, getting up for work in winter can feel like a drag – especially if you work outdoors in a trade or on a site. When temperatures drop so does morale and it’s easy to feel less energised with a lower mood.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a very real condition brought about by changes in the body’s circadian rhythms in winter. Although it’s estimated only one in 300 Australians suffer from it, 54% say they struggle to wake up in the morning compared to warmer months.
The secret to defeating those dreaded workplace blues each time winter swings around is self-care: looking after yourself physically and mentally. If you feel lethargic or disengaged at work in winter, follow these tips to elevate your energy levels and keep your performance on point.
Find extra sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the hero nutrient that supports your mood and keeps your immune system ticking along nicely. Sunshine is the main source of Vitamin D and when the sun appears less in winter, your levels drop.
Support your winter wellbeing by taking a quality Vitamin D supplement or up your intake of oily fish like salmon or tuna. Often cereals and juices are fortified with Vitamin D, too. Try to get outside as much as possible in the day to experience as much daylight as you can. The less you get, the more melatonin your body produces which leads to sluggishness.
Find a fun activity
So going for pre-work jogs in the dark might not appeal, but it’s just as important to keep active in winter, if not more. When you exercise, positive brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine elevate, which help banish that fatigue.
If you’re feeling drained and apathetic, anything that gets you moving will help. Head out to the mountains for a weekend hike, hit up the gym (which is warm and dry!) or buddy up with pals for a footie game. Even a walk in your local park will get you out into nature and get your endorphins flowing.
When the winter months creep in, it’s all-too tempting to reach for the comforting warmth of indulgent foods, and that’s OK from time to time. But excessive fats and sugars can play havoc on your health, and in turn, your mood and motivation.
Make sure your diet has a nutrient-dense mixture of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean protein sources. When on site at work, try to avoid crash-inducing energy drinks, keep hydrated and have a stash of raw natural energy bars to top your levels up.
Keep social, and a schedule
The temptation to hunker down and hibernate in winter is very real, but it can be isolating – often at a cost to mental health. Furthermore, avoiding personal or professional events or not maintaining a regular work-life balance routine can tip sleep off-kilter.
Make a concerted effort to nurture friendships, see family and build colleague relationships. Maintain a healthy sleep pattern to help you not lose focus or energy at work.
Seek professional help if it gets too much
If you feel your winter blues sliding from seasonal malaise to feelings that inhibit you from functioning normally, then do not hesitate to seek help from your doctor or healthcare professional.By reaching out for support you will be able to overcome this seasonal hump and be back to firing on all cylinders.
If you are open to new opportunities, contact a recruitment agency like Trojan Recruitment Group and receive advice from the experts in labour-hire, permanent and contract staff.