Winter is just around the corner. I’ll save the cliche about how it has “come around so quickly this year!” But seriously, winter can have a big impact on our mental and physical health. That in turn, has a knock-on effect on our motivation and productivity. The lack of sunlight and cooler temperatures lead to people feeling down, which is sometimes referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Studies have shown that during winter’s darker, gloomier days it leads two-thirds of employees to feel less productive and less focused. Additionally, 69% say they feel less creative. So, it’s super important to find ways to keep yourself and your team happy and healthy during the colder and darker months.
In this article, I’m going to cover 5 ways that you and your employees can stay motivated and productive during winter.
#1 Get more Vitamin D
Vitamin D is crucial in the winter. Getting enough Vitamin D is usually easy in the summer months, as sunlight offers a natural source (UV rays absorbed by the skin convert excess cholesterol into vitamin D). However, during winter, it’s important that you diversify your sources to ensure you’re getting enough to maintain both physical and mental health.
A few sources of vitamin D include:
- Oily fish and seafood.
- Egg yolks.
- High-quality cod liver oil.
- Beef or chicken liver.
But how much vitamin D do you need? It’s recommended that you get at least 3000 IUs of vitamin D a day. During the winter, you may want to aim higher depending on your needs.
Regular exercise is important all year round. However, it may feel more difficult to go out and exercise. Especially if it’s freezing cold. But finding a winter exercise routine that works for you is super important. Exercise is proven to boost focus, productivity, mental wellbeing, and more.
Simply walking 20-30 minutes a day — in the fresh air — is a decent amount of exercise for most people. However, you may want to try a more intensive indoor workout regime, so you don’t have to risk getting frostbite! Either way, exercise is important to improve your blood flow all around your body — something which can get restricted due to the cold.
#3 Adaptogenic herbs
As it gets colder, the drop in temperature can put more stress on our bodies — as our body is being forced to keep itself warmer. Also, as we can feel more tired and less energized, we feel like we’re pushing a lot harder to get things done.
Enter adaptogenic herbs.
Adaptogenic herbs help us to adapt to stress. So if we’re feeling more burned out during the winter, we can use adaptogens like Ashwagandha to help our adrenal glands to function like normal — keeping us feeling energized and productive.
Taking probiotics can help to boost both our cognitive function, mood, and to improve our immune systems. Winter can have a big impact on our digestive system, especially as our digestive system makes up around 95% of our immune system — crucial during winter months when cold and flu viruses are in abundance.
Plus, the gut-brain connection has proven that our gut health is directly linked to our mental health and cognitive function. So we need to do all we can to make sure our digestive systems are functioning properly during winter.
#5 Strengthen work community
Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, building a sense of community in the workplace is extremely important. Although it may be more difficult if your team is working remotely, it’s an essential component to keeping your team’s focus and mental well-being intact.
Teamwork is proven to boost productivity for a variety of reasons. But how should you go about building your team’s sense of community?
- Schedule regular video call meetings — both work-related and recreational — and give your team a chance to bond and build connections.
- Use tools like Slack to encourage your team to remain in touch with each other to collaborate on projects.
Either you or an appointed member of your team can be in charge of creating a fun team culture that helps to boost morale, which in turn will boost productivity.
Kick the Winter Blues & Boost Productivity
Winter can be tough for many of us. Added pressure to meet end-of-year goals and the dark, gloomy days and night can have a massive impact on our health, wellbeing, and productivity.
Following the tips on this list can help both you and your team to stay healthy and focused during the winter months — helping your business to maintain productivity.
For more tips on how to improve your business — everything from marketing strategy to hiring the right remote-based team, check out the latest posts on the Intentionally Inspirational blog.
Written Lewis James