Mental Health and Productivity in the Changing Season
By Win Salyards, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing
This time of year, especially with Daylight Savings, it’s essential to be aware of how we’re feeling and keep track of our mental health to support productivity. In my opinion, this is a topic that we don’t talk about enough, especially since it has ramifications on our productivity as professionals. There’s only so much “bucking up” we can do before it begins to drag us down and we get behind on work. This is especially important for those on the northern end of the northern hemisphere (or southern end of the southern hemisphere). So, with mental health in mind, here are 3 strategies for keeping up with self-care and productivity during the winter light transition.
Build a routine and stick to it
This may seem obvious, but I want to emphasize this, especially with the time shift, which can cause people to be thrown off or slip off everyday routines. Keeping a daily routine is incredibly important for maintaining productivity and mental health, even keeping a simple one, like going for a walk at lunch, can help frame your day.
Invest in a SAD lamp
This is probably my number one recommendation on here. In case you don’t know, a SAD lamp is a broad-spectrum light that mimics the wavelengths and brightness of sunlight. I highly recommend getting one if you don’t have one. They have been shown to increase energy levels and mood significantly and are incredible when the days get short. I use mine in the morning first thing and the afternoon for a secondary boost.
Stay active when you can
Similar to the first, this may seem obvious. But, in this case, I don’t mean full-on exercise (which you should do if you can, I know I need to); I mean do small physical activities interspersed throughout your workday. Short periods of activity could be worked into a daily routine, or you could set a timer for yourself to stand up and move a bit every half hour. Long periods of sitting have been shown to have a significant adverse effect on mood, so interspersing activity can help overall mood and productivity by increasing blood flow to the brain.
If you, like me, struggle a bit with the daylight blues, I hope these tips help you maintain your mental health and professional productivity as we get closer and closer to the winter solstice.