Winter can be tough in a normal year but this winter is different. Many of us are working from home, some of us are worrying about our job security and some of us are searching for employment in incredibly uncertain times. These are our simple tips for staying upbeat this winter.
The weather may be pretty depressing but there really is nothing stopping you going outside. Wrap up warm, put on your waterproofs if necessary and get at least 20 minutes exercise in the daylight every day. I promise you, however grim it is, you will feel better for it. Winter walking can be quite addictive and the feeling of getting back indoors in the warm and making a steaming cup of tea can become the highlight of your day. It’s a good opportunity to process too. Often solutions present themselves when we’re removed from the situation and our brain relaxes. We all have time for a quick break outside and countless research suggests regular breaks make us more productive so you have no excuse!
Stick to a task list
Some of us have very structured jobs and you know what’s expected of you every day. When working from home, if you don’t have a rigid framework, there’s a tendency to either get stressed that you should be doing more or drift into a pretty unproductive lull. In a way it’s your manager who should be managing this but we all know they have a lot on their plates. COVID has really changed the way work is being done and for many years innovators have been preaching task-based, rather than hours-based roles. Write a list of tasks for the day and work through them. If you’re out of work it’s really important to set yourself achievable tasks and at the end of the day you can reflect on your achievements. If you can finish on your list by four o’clock, don’t beat yourself up. You can get ahead on tomorrow’s tasks or take that hour to catch up on some housework, do some exercise or watch TV. WFH has new rules.
Plan delicious lunches
When working from home we often fall into two camps. Those who relish the ability to cook a substantial lunch and those who end up eating toast for 3 meals a day. A big bowl of healthy, homemade soup is warming for the body and soul and you can make one batch to last the week or freeze containers to keep up the variety. Soup is an ideal winter lunch as you can pack in huge amounts of vegetables, it’s amazingly filling and it’s dead cheap. Food can have a real effect on our mood, on our energy levels and our brain function. If you find yourself slipping into tiredness and low mood, check your diet and make sure you’re getting all those vitamins and minerals we need to function at full throttle.
Look forward to spring
And finally, spring really isn’t that far away. Soon there’ll be sun on your face and daffodils in the garden. Fingers crossed by summer normality will be starting to return. It’s been a strange time recently but it will get better and we’re all going through the ups and downs of lockdown life together, even if it feels we’re all apart.