There are some weeks that don’t start out feeling cheerful or balanced. Above the 49th parallel it occasionally snows the second week of September, sending northerners into a premature seasonal affective tailspin. Over the past three sunny months we’ve misplaced our mittens and our ability to cope with inclement weather. Instagram feeds are overwhelmed with amateur landscape photography and captions that decry the amount of snow on our patios, trees and cars. The tone around the water cooler is just a microcosm of the entire city’s bad Monday.
So how do we maintain a psychologically sound workplace in the midst of this collective bummer? Let’s get proactive about the office vibes and our own mental health. After all, we are soon to be spending all our precious daylight hours in beige cubicles under fluorescent lighting.
Here are some suggestions to get you started on your journey to an upbeat and productive workplace:
1. Avoid complaining about the weather. We all know it’s cold and snowy and traffic is a nightmare.
2. Re-decorate your workspace. A clean place to think with a pop of colour can instantly improve your mood. Even changing your desktop background can make a small but helpful impact.
3. Plants. Having a lush, green, air cleaning life form in your space can be uplifting when everything outside is hibernating.
4. Eat a healthy lunch. Get some nutrients in your body! Skip the soda and down a carrot juice or kale salad and feel ALIVE.
5. Wear that tweed coat or beret in the back of your closet and learn to love fashion’s best season – autumn. Who doesn’t love layering?
6. Saying thank you to the people you work with will improve their day and yours. A thoughtful card or note showing your appreciation is likely to blow someone’s mind.
7. If you are lucky enough to have some flexibility in the lighting department ditch the fluorescent lighting for something more natural. SAD lamps are a great option for folks who struggle when the light gets low.
8. Desk yoga. You might be surprised to know that there are plenty of asanas that you can do in the comfort of your office chair that will improve your posture and flexibility.
9. Herbal tea is a great way to warm up and lift your spirits. Share a pot of tea with colleagues for a team building effect.
10. Inject some laughter into your workplace – there’s no need to take ourselves too seriously! Sometimes a pair of Groucho glasses or a pinata are all you need to boost morale.