February 5, 2013
6 ways to overcome the mid-winter work 'blahs'
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're all very familiar with the feelings that come from a prolonged lack of sun. They get especially terrible as we make our way through winter, causing many to lose steam at work. Sound familiar? Try these six simple tips to take you from ho-hum to energized at the office:
Get moving. Let's face it -- most Americans don't get enough exercise, so skip the elevator and use the stairs, park farther away from the office and ask a co-worker to go for a walk during lunch. Get moving to increase energy and creativity.
Seek the sun. Pacific Northwest winters mean short days and not a lot of sunlight, which can lead to a lack of vitamin D. It turns out 41.6 percent of U.S. adults are deficient in vitamin D, which is important in everything from regulating the immune system to keeping the brain functioning well. Talk to your doctor about checking your levels.
Laugh more. "Although we can't yet say that a certain number of laughs every day will keep the doctor away, studies show that people who say they laugh a lot also tend to be in good health and generally feel well," stated Madeline Vann, MPH. Go ahead! Laugh with co-workers and share those funny stories before or after meetings (just keep them "G" rated).
Get more zzz's. Feel like napping at 2 p.m. each day? Studies reveal that nearly 20 percent of Americans get less than six hours of sleep per night. To improve your energy, health and immune system, Dr. Ranit Mishori recommends seven to nine hours of sleep every night for adults.
Set a challenging goal. University professors Edwin Locke and Gary Latham studied 35 years of goal-setting and task-motivation research and found "that the highest or most difficult goals produced the highest levels of effort and performance." To get motivated... challenge yourself.
Express gratitude. Being grateful increases happiness and motivation. Take some time each day to write down things that make you thankful. After following this process for a few weeks, people generally "feel better about themselves, have more energy and feel more alert," says Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher at the University of California at Davis.
What are your favorite tricks or tips to stay motivated, positive and productive during the mid-winter work "blahs"? Share them in the comments section.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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