Overcome the winter blues in your office

  • Many of us experience SAD-like symptoms at this time of year, such as feeling tired, lacking energy, lowered mood and battling serious carb cravings
  • In the workplace, the winter blues can cause difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation and loss of productivity
  • There are 6 ways you can overcome the winter blues in your office including; staying social, getting people active, keeping up the vegetable intake, drinking enough fluid, having the right amount of sunshine and being amongst nature
  • Our advice for your people can be found here.

Winter. It can be pretty great. Think toasting marshmallows by a fireplace and drinking the occasional hot chocolate (the thick, melted kind).

But it can also come with some not so nice things. Such as the winter blues, and even Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that occurs in winter and is related to changes in light exposure. While SAD is rare in Australia, it’s fair to say many of us experience SAD-like symptoms at this time of year, such as feeling tired a lot, lacking energy, lowered mood and battling serious carb cravings.

If a few members of a team are feeling this way, it could be enough to bring the whole mood down.

In the workplace, these symptoms can amount to difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation and loss of productivity.

Luckily, there are some things we can do to help overcome the winter blues and we’ve compiled a list you can share with your people.

  1. Stay social. Social connection is important for good mental health. Get your staff to arrange a time on a weekly basis to do something they enjoy with other people or set up some extra social events during the winter months for a morale boost. Bupa Office Example
  2. Get active. Regular exercise releases endorphins that make people feel happy, which is especially important in winter. Even small changes to move more can make a difference, so encourage your people to go for a walk in their lunch break or take the stairs instead of the lift. In the Bupa office, we put up some tongue-in-check encouragements to get people to consider taking the stairs – this was simple and effective.
  3. Stock up on vegetables. Encourage your workers to put down the junk food and take in nutritional vegetable and fruit combos to help them feel satisfied and nourished at the same time. Think about how you can motivate them to eat healthily by encouraging recipe sharing (there are some great and healthy winter recipes over on the employee section).
  4. Drink up. Just because it’s not hot anymore, doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay hydrated. In fact, a common cause of tiredness is dehydration. Encourage employees to keep a water bottle on their desk and take sips throughout the day. Staying hydrated can also help to fend off cold and flu bugs so ensure your people are well informed.
  5. Get a daily dose of sunshine. It’s a fact that studies have linked vitamin D deficiency and depression. Weather permitting, employees should aim to leave the office for a period of time each day and go for a walk or run in the crisp, refreshing winter air to soak up some sun. Remind your employees to use sun protection when the UV index measures 3 or above and all year round in the snow.
  6. Turn over a new leaf. Did you know that just looking at nature can boost your mood? If it’s just too cold to go outside, try decorating the office with some new pot plants or flowers on desks and in meeting rooms.

This information has been reviewed for Bupa by health professionals and to the best of their knowledge is current and based on reputable sources of medical research. It should be used as a guide only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice. Bupa HI Pty Ltd (and its related entities) makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the recommendations or assessments and is not liable for any loss or damage you suffer arising out of the use of or reliance on the information, except that which cannot be excluded by law. We recommend that you consult your doctor or other qualified health professional if you have questions or concerns about your health.