25th September 2018
by Charlotte Wilson
mindfulness, thoughts, Workplace
Approximately one year ago today, we here at Pistachio wrote a blog post on the ‘Winter Blues’ because, at just around about this time of year, it becomes quite clear that summer is over.
The shorter nights creep in, the thicker jumpers come out, the heating gets cranked up and, inevitably, those pesky little blues rear their ugly little head again.
If this sounds familiar, and you’re starting to feel a bit glum around this time of year, then you’re really not alone, many more people than you think are more sensitive to the seasonal changes that trigger the winter blues, and this can obviously have a knock on effect with our working week.
So, do not fear – unlike the sunshine – we’re here to stay and stoically guide you through the winter months with some handy tips that are sure to help you shake those morbid little seasonal blues away…
1. Don’t become a couch potato…
The winter blues may put you in the mood for good old-fashioned couch hibernation, but experts say that it’s still crucial to get outside and soak up some natural light, however weak it may be.
We know that darker mornings and nights can hinder your sleep-wake-cycles and encourage you to want to sleep in more when there’s less daylight to be found. However, if you make a real effort to spend at least 20 minutes outside everyday – yes, even if it’s truly foul outside – this light can help facilitate the production of serotonin in the body, which in turn can help elevate your mood.
2. But, still make sure you get those zzzz’s…
Ok, yes we’ve just told you to not sleep and hibernate too much, but, it is important to prioritise sleep throughout the darker, colder months. Especially if you are prone to the winter blues, you’ll probably notice disrupted sleep patterns that come hand in hand with your agitated mind, so be aware of your sleeping patterns and be sure to make early nights a priority.
Ideally, by logging 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night – no matter how many mulled wines and pumpkin spiced lattes you’re invited out for – you should feel the restorative benefits that good sleep offers, which in turn helps to stabilise your mood. So, do try not to burn that festive candles at both ends, as tempting as it might be.
3. Get physical, PHYSICAL! (*in the distance, Olivia Newton John moves like liquid gold in a black leotard)
No, I don’t mean join a fight club or anything, but you should keep moving through the winter months as much as possible. It can be very tempting to skip the gym during the darker days and nights, but studies have continuously proven then even just 10 minutes of exercise per day can help improve your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Even if you can’t schedule in a whole hour-long workout every day, just try and squeeze in a quick lunchtime walk, or even a mini morning rave before you get in the shower in the morning? – no judgement here, just get that heart rate moving and keep that smile on your face.
4. Become a bit LLB
For those of you not au fait with Changing Rooms of early noughties fame, LLB is the delectable interior designer Laurence Llewellyn Bowen, and apparently, adjusting your immediate surroundings can help balance your emotions and alleviate the winter blues.
If you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, try adding a source of naturalistic artificial light to your bedroom. Or, revamp your workspace slightly. If you can, move your desk closer to the window so you’re exposed to more natural light. If that’s not possible, install a sunlamp to brighten a dim office cubicle — it’ll recreate the feeling of natural light and combat harsh fluorescent bulbs. Just let the light in darrrlings.
5. Don’t eat trash…seriously
I know we all want to store a little winter chub to fight off the chillier climate, but the type of food you eat impacts your energy levels, sleep and immune functioning. So, be smart about what you’re putting in your mouth!
That doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon your favourite treats all winter, just make small changes by avoiding processed items, drink plenty of water, limit your alcohol consumption (or not, whatever) and incorporate whole grains and veggies at every meal, and you’ll be smiley and healthy in no time!
6. Give yourself a break…
When you’re struggling with the winter blues, you might feel energised one day and super low the next. Apparently, this is ultra-normal. So, shaming yourself for how you feel is only going to make you feel worse, and it certainly isn’t going to help anyone else, so cut yourself some slack.
Everyone has good and bad days, it’s just how human beings work, so if you feel extra bluesy one day, do not fret, because more often than not you’ll be back to your fabulous self in next to no time (ok, I might still be in LLB mode, but you know what I mean).
Hopefully this post will help to give you the motivation you need to kick those winter blues in the proverbial a$$ ,but if not? Just remember that it’s now only 9 short months until the REAL winter is here (if you don’t know, then you’re a lost cause quite frankly).
Looking to shake off the winter blues with some exciting new creative or marketing collateral? Simply give drop us a line today, we’d be happy to chat about any of your digital, design or communication needs.