A few years ago, I wrote a blog complaining about surviving the office in the summer months. How do you stay focused when it’s so bright and cheery outside? I found a few tips to make it bearable and I realized that coming to work in the light, leaving in the light, and still having time to do annoying happy things like walk the dog (in the light) and hang out with my teenagers (I always recommend daylight for time spent with teenagers) wasn’t so bad. By the end of summer I realized something, summer wasn’t so bad, but get ready, Winter was Coming!
Regardless of religion or nationality, cheerful lights are a welcome, happy sight for a whole 4 weeks of winter…for the rest of the season, the one that closely resembles a cold, grey, bucket of suck, we need to dig deep. Below are five tips for getting through the months where it’s dark when you arrive, dark when you leave, and cold in between!
Brighten up Your Desk:
While I absolutely believe that the pain of winter is a real thing, brightening up your work space definitely helps dull that pain. Add a picture that takes you some place warm and sunny, bring in some scented office friendly candles, or change up the décor you already have in there. Moving things around or adding a few new welcome sights in your space is going to give your brain a boost during the day.
Work with your team leader (or get your extroverted co-worker to do it for you) to plan a group activity for your team. Whether it’s an office happy hour, an in-house lunch, or a full-on holiday party, some fun group activities make weather related torture more bearable.
Shorten the Work Day:
If arriving in the dark and leaving in the dark is really putting a damper on your productivity, talk with your supervisor about changing one of those times and working remotely to make up for it. Sometimes just knowing this is an option may be enough to help you stay productive.
Pack a Warm Lunch:
As much as I love a good salad, raw spinach and cold grilled chicken just doesn’t do it for me when it’s freezing outside. Why not make or purchase some reheat ready soups or stews instead?. The smell and the warmth in your hand definitely eases the pain of the temperatures outside. If you’re real ambitious, go ahead and plan a chili cook off or a Souper-Bowl party at the office!
Get a Starbucks Buddy:
While it might seem counterproductive to go outside in the cold in order to get warm, taking a 10 minute coffee/hot chocolate break might be just the ticket in winter. An office coffee run during the day can have the same benefit (mood wise) as an outdoor hike on the weekend. Sure that cold might hit your cheeks harder than you want it to, but it will also get your blood pumping and your muscles moving. Plus, at least you’ll have a buddy to commiserate with about the cold. Never forget, winter misery definitely loves company!
These are just a few of my ideas, research and thoughts based on my need to not get sucked in to the greyness of Winter. Do you have any tips or thoughts on how to manage the darker times of the year? Let us know!
Image Source: Freepik