It’s that time of the year again; the days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping and the winter blues start kicking in.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in 15 people in the UK experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the sunlight-scarce days of winter. SAD, which is a form of depression that occurs at the same time each year, can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels, taking a toll on all aspects of your life including work. And for small business owners, anything affecting your mood can have a knock-on effect on your performance and your business.
Here at Cleanhome, we think it’s important to keep conversations about well-being in the spotlight. Regardless of whether you’re diagnosed with SAD or experience certain symptoms of it, it’s important to put measures into place to keep your good mood topped up during the winter months.
Set small goals
Setting small goals for each day can help you manage stress and boost your productivity. Working towards small achievable goals can help you feel that you’ve accomplished more which will give you a much-needed boost, warding off feelings of stress and worthlessness.
Let there be light
Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows. When sunlight enters the eye, messages are passed to the part of the brain that controls our mood, appetite, temperature and sleep. Light triggers the production of mood-boosting hormones which can help with your SAD symptoms.
Get out of the house
This is particularly important if you’re running your business from home. With the colder temperatures, you may be avoiding going outside which could affect your mood negatively. Try to take a few little breaks in the day to be outside. Soaking up some sunlight and fresh air can help the brain focus, bring a new perspective to your day, and clear the mind so wrap up warm and get out there!
Participating in social activities is vital in reducing isolation and helping you manage SAD symptoms. During the colder months it may feel more comfortable to retreat into yourself but try to be around other people even if you don’t feel like it as it can help boost your mood. Meet your friends or family more often or perhaps take up a new hobby where you can meet new people.
Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, will help you keep your energy up and minimise mood swings.
Staying motivated while running a business during the colder, darker winter months may seem more difficult which is why it’s important to look after yourself and make changes to your lifestyle to help you stay focused and happy.