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Turn the dark days into opportunity

It’s dark out on the way to work. It’s freezing inside the car. There’s snow slipping down the inside of your boots. Now you’re wondering why you feel a little blue.

There’s a good chance the weather is to blame. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real and it affects 5% of North Americans.

The dark days, cold winds, and constant chills are just the beginning. January can be the most stressful time of year after dealing with a Christmas financial crunch, hosting the family and of course, returning to the work life. “After a holiday or an extended period of time away from the office some of us experience what we call post-holiday blues,” said Registered Psychologist Dr. Kathy Keating. “These disruptions to our routines and healthy habits coupled with a return to the workplace can be very challenging for people.”

It would be nice to get the energy and excitement of summer year round but there are ways to minimize the harshness of returning to the workplace and maximize your time indoors.

Returning to the Workplace

The struggle at work may have been real the last couple days as many of us wrap up the first week back. Here are some tips provided by Dr. Keating to ease the transition.

  • Break down large tasks awaiting you at the office into more manageable tasks/goals.

  • Start working on something that comes easier to you at first and build up to working on more challenging tasks.

  • Make some time for yourself no matter how much work you have.

Make Use of Winter Months

The dark days and cold weather drives even the hardiest animals into hibernation and there’s nothing wrong with that. "Once the spring starts everyone gets so busy, so it's a good time to sit back and organize," said Leadership Coach Margie Schamuhn, who kindly offered her best tips from years of working professional development. Keeping busy while inside and using the winter downtime for more than just Netflix will help you keep a positive mind while the sun sets at four in the afternoon.

Although, we all know watching Netflix in moderation is amazing.

  • Reflect on your life, use the time to create a vision.

  • Organize your summer, what events do you want to attend?

  • Create a bucket list.

  • Declutter and minimize, donate your extra goods to charity.

See the article on KelownaNow here.

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