Reflecting on these past cold, dark winter months, many people have struggled with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. Seasonal depression can affect not only your personal life, but your job performance and workplace satisfaction. If you are currently experiencing seasonal depression, here are some tips for how to stay motivated at work and improve your quality of life:
Practicing gratitude, with intention, at work and home can do wonders for your mental health and well-being. If you find yourself frequently in a slump at work, take a few moments to reflect on the positive aspects of your job. For example, how have you enjoyed the relationship you have built with your team and managers? Does this role still hold the meaning and opportunities that align with your career goals? Often times the day-to-day can be very distracting from the big picture, which is that if you genuinely love your work, the people you are surrounded by, and are proud of how far you have come, then that should be celebrated rather than taken for granted! Shifting your perspective to be more optimistic, can and will help boost your morale and make the days that feel tougher to become more manageable emotionally.
Focus on social connection.
There is without a doubt that as the weather becomes colder, people tend to remain indoors more often, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. However, staying connected to family and friends – especially when seasonal depression kicks in – is crucial for keeping your spirits, as well as others, high and giving you comfort during uncomfortable times. Also, scheduling social outings does not have to be a major endeavor trying to coordinate a time, location, and activity. Your social life could become an integral part of your daily activities, whether that is downloading an app to join community fitness classes, inviting a coworker to lunch or work at a coffee shop, or even sharing a hobby with a colleague/friend. As humans, we strive for social connection, putting yourself out there in times that feel most uncomfortable is what leads to major growth, especially when it matters most for your mental health.
Work with a mental health professional.
Sometimes it is necessary to work with a therapist or mental health professional to effectively manage seasonal depression. Pursuing therapy as a first resort instead of a last can be very impactful in giving you the guidance and tools to regain control of your feelings while experiencing seasonal depression. Therapy can also help you re-set expectations for yourself, while reframing your focus and priorities at work. In some cases, you may even discover changes you need to make at work to improve your mental health, such as inquiring with your boss about scheduling flexibility or remote working options.
By following these tips, you will be able to combat the negative effects of seasonal depression while elevating your daily lifestyle!
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