In the winter, people often stay inside more, leading to a sense of depression because of the lack of activity and social interaction. Research shows that lack of Vitamin D can negatively impact mood, too.
This phenomenon is quite common, although it affects people to varying degrees. As an employer, it’s important to recognize that the weather might be impacting your team’s wellbeing. Incorporate programming that encourages overall health, especially during the winter months.
Experiencing sadness, tiredness, or lack of energy can affect performance at work. Exercise releases serotonin into the brain, which causes feelings of happiness and accomplishment. There are many ways you can encourage your employees to increase activity. The workplace wellness program could help organize a winter running group to support increased activity and address the feelings of loneliness. Another option is to reimburse gym memberships, especially during winter when it’s more challenging to exercise outdoors.
As the weather conditions improve slightly, lead by example and encourage employees to take their meetings outside to soak up some Vitamin D. This is good practice year-round as the extra steps reduce lethargy and boost overall health.
Opportunities for Self-Care
Self-care is essential during the winter, especially if employees are experiencing feelings of increased depression. It might be worthwhile to incorporate a few less traditional elements into your workplace wellness program during the winter. Create a space for employees searching for extra support mentally, not just physically.
Designate a quiet space in the building where employees can practice meditation and focus on breathing. Encourage mindfulness by providing employees with resources to help them focus on the positive things in life. Host an adult coloring gathering where your employees can congregate, socialize and enjoy the de-stressing effects of coloring. This additional focus on mental health will contribute to a better work environment with happy and more motivated employees.
It’s easy to feel lonely and less motivated during the winter. But as your employees spend a significant portion of their day at work, an increased focus on wellbeing during the colder months can help boost morale and keep your employees happier and healthier year-round.
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