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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: Eight ways to cope with the clocks going back


As the clocks go back this Sunday and the days continue to darken, millions of workers will once again find themselves suffering from the winter blues as British summertime officially ends.

The short days can have a significant impact on some employees’ health and wellbeing, but the time change can also lead to short-term complications in terms of timekeeping, travel and meeting arrangements.
Time shifts can likewise wreak havoc with body clocks by disrupting and reducing the efficacy of sleep, thus taking a toll on people’s mental and physical health.
As a result, has put together eight tips to help perk you up as winter creeps in:
1. Personalise your work space – Find something to help you get into work mode such a favourite saying or statement. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a well-known motivational quote – a personal mission statement can also help keep you on track.
Another option is to put up a picture of a dream holiday destination or something else that you’re aiming towards to remind you of why you come to work in the first place.
If your personal space extends further than just a desk and you have your own office, the décor is vital so choose your favourite colours, pictures, plants and ornaments to help you feel more relaxed.
2. Beat the afternoon slump – On hitting the afternoon slump, many people reach for a cup of coffee or sugar-laden treat to perk them up – only to feel like crashing shortly afterwards.
So avoid heavy lunches and always start the day with a substantial breakfast. After a (hopefully) good night’s sleep, your body needs to have sufficient energy to get through the day. Depriving yourself of breakfast will not only make your performance more sluggish, but you’ll become irritable and frustrated more quickly.
3. Keep on top of things – Don’t simply explore how to handle things more effectively when you’re busy, but look at your whole work cycle instead. Evaluate what important tasks are likely to come along in future and ask yourself if there is anything that you can do to prepare for them now.
4. Develop a support network – Pulling together a circle of trusted colleagues who share similar backgrounds or lifestyles can help to take the pressure off at work. Being able to voice your feelings to people who understand your situation can really help minimise stress levels.
5. Reward yourself – Identify something that you enjoy outside of work and indulge yourself. Whether it’s dinner with friends, a movie, exercise or a manicure, treat yourself every once in a while. Just as stress at home can interfere with work, having a positive personal life can influence your mood in the office too.
6. Focus on the positives – Identify the things that you like at work such as your co-workers or the nice view from your office window. The idea is that, if you stress the positives, your job will feel more enjoyable. Worrying about the negatives may just cause you to feel overwhelmed, however.
7. Keep active – Exercise is great for relieving the stresses of life and the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after you hit the showers. You’ll have more energy throughout the day and your metabolism with stay elevated too. Exercise also helps your mind by releasing those "feel good chemicals" that improve your mood.
8. Grab some (even weak) rays – Seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as SAD or the winter blues, is thought to affect up to two million people in the UK, with a lack of natural sunlight making them feel depressed and lethargic.
But a mere 30 minutes of natural light, even weak winter sunlight, can be enough to make you feel happier and more energised. If you really can’t find the time, consider investing in a natural daylight lamp to try and boost your vitamin D levels.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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