The mornings are cold, dark and forbidding. The nights are seemingly endless and arrive way too soon. For many of us, it’s a time of year when we’re not quite ourselves. We feel sluggish and lethargic. We sleep a lot more (although it’s never enough) and we struggle to find enjoyment in the things that we loved doing. We can find it harder to concentrate, to stay motivated and achieve the productivity we need to achieve the career success we deserve or to keep the businesses we own operating at peak productivity.
This isn’t on you. You may simply be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Many assume that because they do not feel depressed that they do not suffer from this condition, but if you find yourself drained of your energy and robbed of your zest for life, you may well be coping with this common condition without even knowing it. Fortunately, there are many ways in which a woman can combat this condition…
Start the day with a workout
I know, I know. Starting a wet, cold and gloomy day with a jog or a trip to the gym seems virtually impossible (especially when we feel groggy and exhausted in the morning). However, starting the day with a workout can be a great way to start the day on a positive note and help you to feel energized and mentally alert for the rest of the day. Exercise is a great way to fill your brain with feel-good chemicals while also improving memory and cognitive skills.
When winter comes, it’s tempting to chug coffee all day long to shake ourselves out of our seasonal funk. But for peak concentration and productivity, there’s no substitute for drinking plenty of water. Water on its own too boring for you? How about trying this refreshing cucumber water? Good hydration is key to maintaining healthy electrolyte activity in your brain to aid concentration.
Invest in a lightbox
When you feel depressed, low in mood or lacking in focus, there are a plethora of therapy apps which can help as well as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy exercises which you can try from home. But if you suffer from SAD, one of the most effective forms of therapy is to replace the natural light that you’re lacking throughout the day. A lightbox can give you an approximation of natural sunlight in the darker hours of the day to keep you feeling energized and motivated.
Ignore that hibernation instinct!
Over the winter months we develop an odd instinct to hibernate. Not only do we feel the urge to shut ourselves away from society, we also feel a need to stuff our faces with all the wrong foods. The holiday season has been long associated with culinary excess but if we’re to remain productive (and happy) it’s essential that we repress the urge to gorge on high-fat, high-carb, salty and sugary foods and dine on the healthy foods that will aid concentration and assure productivity.
All it takes is a little discipline to enjoy a happy, healthy and productive winter!