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Wintertime Workplace Woes

Wintertime Workplace Woes

Over coffee the other day with a friend, we started discussing the workplace and stress.  Because I haven’t been in the Corporate world for quite a while and work independently in my office, I was curious. 

 My friend works in an environment that has several staff both inside and outside who come from all walks of life and are a variety of personalities.  Naturally, the way they choose to deal with issues is also different and often frustrating. That can make our wintertime work woes even more difficult.

That discussion led us to the season and the impact the two month stretch between Christmas and the next holiday weekend has.  The shorter days add to the challenges.  You leave for work in the dark, you get home from work in the dark.  You have to scrape off vehicles, bundle up to stay warm and go without good strong sunlight which nourishes our happy moods leaving lots of us depressed and struggling with SAD. Remember, you may still be frustrated by that co worker who is dealing with his/her issues differently than you.  Now tempers can get short.

The aftermath of Christmas shopping shows up when the credit card bills start arriving but the festive fun feeling is long gone.  A few extra chocolates and more comfort food carbs may have also added some pounds causing wardrobe challenges or just plain discomfort. 

This is also the time of year when illness related absences are more noticable, putting stress on co-workers to pick up the extra work load.  Less fresh air due to less exercise creates a ‘couch potato’ attitude where we go into rest mode and wait for sunny days. So what can you do to be a wintertime workplace hero and not a wintertime workplace victim?

Here are just a few suggestions: 

1.  Be sure to include sunny fruits or fruit beverages into your daily diet.  Oranges, grapefruit, pineapple.  Berries are good too and can be added to hot or cold breakfast cereals.  Of course, be sure to always eat breakfast – no fuel leaves a poorly running vehicle.

2.  Take at least 15 to 30 minutes each day and do something for yourself.  Something that matters to you and involves your passions.  This can make you smile and raise your flagging energy level.  It could be a creative art, puzzles, meditation, dancing, bowling or walking – anything you love to do.

3.  Take at least 15 to 30 minutes a day and selflessly do something for someone else.  Not because it is expected, or because you do it all the time. Something simple, like buying a single flower for someone in the office and leave it anonomously on their desk.  Don’t tell a soul.  Take $20 and drop it in a donation box somewhere – again tell no one.  There are tons of feel good inspirational card sets out now – you can have fun getting a set and secretly leaving a card here and there where complete strangers will find it – it will impact their day. Bus depots, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.   Shhh… it’s a secret!  Something that makes you feel good and takes your mind off your challenges for a bit – be creative and have fun doing this. 

4.  When you lay down to sleep, offer gratitude for the day – including the unpleasant experiences.  Just take your mind back over the events of the day, the people, the opportunities – all of the day and just say thank you.  You will sleep better and the next day will be brighter.

Good luck, have fun and know Spring is around the corner.