When Autumnal sun-rays loose their heat and temperatures begin to drop, it means only one thing – winter is fast approaching! And while the daylight hours grow shorter, unfortunately, the same seasonal rules do not apply to office hours. Soon you begin to feel like a creature of the night 24/7. You leave for the office in darkness and then, you leave the office in darkness. You may already be noticing a chorus of sniffles and sneezes throughout the work place. Harmonizing with the flu chorus are those who fall victim to the Winter blues. Soon the moaners and groaners will begin their disparaging shuffle around the office. The depths of Winter can be trying on our health and our temperament, but the season is inevitable so prepare for the worst and be done with it. Here are YCB’s 11 tips to keep your head in gear and your motivation well-oiled as you drive your career goals forward this Winter:
1. Remix the day with a smile.
Even if you’ve rolled out of the wrong side of the bed, nothing beats a “Good Morning!” playlist to get those endorphins pumping. Include all of your favorite good mood tunes, especially the ones that remind you of the best bygone times. Forget about the news on your drive or commute to work and ban all phone calls – from now on this is serious YOU time. Boosting your morale in the morning will ensure you’ll be ready to take on any daunting tasks that come your way throughout the day. If you rely on your feet or a bike as transport and the morning is proving particularly difficult, a special jump-start may be neccessary. Here’s a secret favorite of mine – as you listen to your tunes picture the person walking towards dancing to the music – before you know it, you’ll have chuckled your way to the elevator. This technique works wonders when caught in the rain!
2. A garlic a day, keeps the doctor away.
Garlic is widely recognised as the culinary herb that doubles up as the potent, natural medic. Garlic serves a long history as an immune system booster because of its antiseptic, anti-fungal and nutritive properties. It is a natural detoxicant protecting against bacterial and viral infections without any of the side-effects (or doctor fees) associated with antibiotics. Research shows it is a good preventative medicine against coughs, colds and chest infections during the winter. Once you are reminded that the inexpensive herb is rich in potassium, zinc, vitamins A and C and selenium and also contains sulfur, calcium, manganese, copper, vitamin B1 and iron, you wonder why you ever spent a day without eating it. Eat it raw or in a capsule, or even better roast the cloves to bring out the soft tangy sweetness of the herb. But unless you’re bringing your toothbrush to the office… it may be best consumed at home!
3. The power of a positive perspective.
It’s easier to achieve and maintain a positive attitude if you have a “library” of positive thoughts in your head. Then you can draw upon this positive ammunition if the day doesn’t go exactly as you’d prefer. And only practice makes perfect. Find some power phrases that speak to you and call on them when you need some instant feel-good reassurance. Recently, everytime I catch myself saying “I have so much to do..” or,” there’s not enough time to complete all this work,” I quickly repeat the phrase “I have time for everything.” And each time, it’s true – meetings get unexpectedly cancelled, deadlines get extended, the workload shifts and believe it or not, there was time for everything!
4. Work is done at work.
Realistically this is something to strive for throughout the year – do your work at work and leave it there. Of course, times will arise when you need to work late or do some extra work at home, but avoid making it habit.
5. Invest in YOU time.
It is vitally important to do something nice for yourself everyday – if you don’t keep a little piece of yourself just for you, soon you could feel like the world is closing in on you. Be it a bath, read your book or watch your favorite show, do what you need to do to unwind and return to you. Whatever else you procrastinate – make this your daily priority.
6. Sleep up!
You’ve heard it a million times – if you are feeling under the weather, you need to get plenty of sleep to get better. Resting and sleeping strengthens immune function, helping the body to heal and recharge, which means a few z’s really is the best flu and blues fighter. Also, did you know that a lack of shut-eye can make you snack? Research from the University of Chicago found that people who got only 5 1/2 hours of sleep snacked more during the day. Snooze more and you could save about 1,087 calories. Sounds like sweet dreams to me!
7. Motivational Countdown.
What is the next big thing you are looking forward to – a weekend getaway, a special visitor, a Halloween party or even Christmas? Keep a countdown to that day (and don’t forget to restart with a new one, once completed) on your desk at work. Try counting down to the smaller fun events that you are excited about. It will motivate you to work harder because every single day you are one day closer!
8. Hydrate, hydrate!
Remember to meet if not exceed drinking 8-12 glasses of water every day. Water helps to cleanse the body and remove toxins, including germs. By keeping body systems, especially the respiratory system, well hydrated, you can enhance your virus-fighting potential. Drink something hot such as your favorite type of tea and add some winter warmers like a cinnamon stick, honey, lemon or cloves.
9. The big picture.
Always remember that there’s a deeper reason why you go to work and why you chose your current role. Maybe it’s to gain experience, to change the world in some way, to help your customers, etc. Whatever the deeper motivation, remind yourself that this workday, today, is the opportunity to come one step closer to that bigger and more important goal.
10. Avoid negative people
If you start following the first 9 steps, you’ll probably find that the most negative people in your orbit will be avoiding you. And you’ll also notice that the positive people will want to hang out with you and help you. Though it’s true you can’t avoid all Debbie Downers all of the time, you can certainly recognise the situation and find something else to do when they start grousing about stuff they won’t or can’t change.
11. Wrap up warm!
Soon it will be time to bring out the big-gun winter woollies. But do you have to sacrifice your style just to stay warm? We at YCB, understand the perplexities of staying chic, professional and cosy in the office during Winter. Next week, the careerist will be revealing some of the chicest ways to stay warm this Winter. Stay tuned!