With the end-of-year scramble behind us, the post-holiday months can be a really cozy time for remote workers. No daily commute, no reason to leave your house if you don’t want to – what could be better? While we’re all for embracing the slower pace of the season and taking advantage of some rest time, we know that the winter blues can sneakily creep up and bring a funk.
To avoid that feeling, we’ve put together our winter wellness guidebook to help remote employees stay happy, healthy, and productive during the cold-weather months.
Revisit Your Daily Routine
It’s likely that you loosened up on your routines and habits during the holiday season. Use the start of the year to get yourself back on track and ensure you’re feeling your best.
We love to start this process with a time audit to see exactly where our time is going. Let that inform your weekly schedule and allocate time for the important areas of your life.
Having some structure to the day goes a long way in keeping things organized and removing the decision fatigue of figuring out if you should keep working or start a load of laundry. Consider implementing a set time to log on and off each day and block off when you’ll have focus hours or personal time.
Spruce Up Your Space
You’re probably spending more time indoors during the winter, so why not spruce up your home office? Here are some of our lifesavers during the winter months:
- Humidifier: No more chapped lips or dry hands! A humidifier is great for adding some moisture to the dry air and reducing cold and allergy symptoms.
- Light Therapy Lamps: These can do wonders for anyone feeling sun-deprived, not just those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder. That being said, it’s always wise to check with a health professional before investing in a “happy lamp.”
- Plants: Adding a plant to your space will not only cheer things up but also improve air quality. Win-win!
- Citrus Candles: Nothing brightens up a desolate winter like the scent of oranges or lemons. And a cozy candle can help improve your mood and alertness.
Take a Rest
Remote work usually means a lot of computer work, and uninterrupted screen time can lead to headaches, soreness, and decreased concentration. It’s a tough habit to break. We love this nifty browser plugin that reminds you to look up from your screen at regular intervals.
You can also make this a habit by setting a natural routine into your work day. Try stepping away from your screen for a few minutes each time you finish a page, complete a task, or finish listening to an album.
Pick Up a New Hobby
It’s tempting to kick back and watch your favorite show, we find that having a post-work activity is a good way to reduce our screen time and gives us something to look forward to.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated! Try cooking, knitting, doing a puzzle, painting – whatever excites you. A hobby is a great way to meet new people and have set social time during the week if you join a group class or community organization.
Who said adults can’t have recess? If you find yourself getting gloomy or stir-crazy, maybe it’s time to get outside and play. It’s easy to spend too much time indoors and away from the sun which is why we like to schedule 15-20 minutes each day for a walk or bike ride. We find it’s the best way to reset energy levels.
Staying active doesn’t have to mean braving the elements. If you don’t have the luxury of a home gym or treadmill, get your flow on with a little yoga or pilates—or some high-intensity dancing.
Prepare for the Year Ahead
Winter is the perfect time to get ahead on those life admin tasks…like the “t” word.
Whether you file taxes on your own or with the help of an accountant, use these quieter months to hunt down expense receipts and gather your 1099s. As freelancers, we know just how stressful tax season can be. Head off those anxieties at the pass by prepping as much as possible before April hits.
The winter months are a slow, introspective time for many. Embrace these long evenings by dreaming up plans and projects for the coming year. What’s been simmering on the back burner? What can you lay the groundwork for now that you can unleash in the spring and summer?
We hope these winter wellness tips are helpful for you. And remember, sunny days are always near!
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