We’re back at work, and the holiday cheer, festive feelings, and relaxed work atmosphere are slowly drifting into memory as we charge into a new year. What’s left is months of long, cold, and mainly dark days. No wonder that 30% of the population will suffer from post-holiday depression and feel unmotivated come January 1.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to kick-start your New Year.
A new year is the perfect time to get rid of the old and embrace the new. Start small, with perhaps your desk. Clean out your filing cabinets and store away last year’s files. Go through paper and recycle anything you haven’t used in six months. Clean and organize your desk so supplies are handy.
Now do the same with your computer; tidy up your computer’s desktop and organize your filing system. Then it’s time to tackle that inbox. Create folders to organize your emails (or trash them) so you aren’t overwhelmed by thousands of messages.
Do Something Exciting
Sometimes the best way to get over a slump is to have something to look forward to. If you don’t have an exciting project, create one for yourself. Figure out what you want to do to better yourself professionally – or personally – and make it happen. Start a blog for your company’s website, volunteer to sit on the social committee or research the benefits of workplace volunteering and pitch it your bosses. If adding more work doesn’t seem attainable, then make a list of things that have to get done, breaking it into smaller, manageable tasks. Create daily lists of things you want to accomplish, but make sure they’re realistic in scope. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a list.
Take a Break
Taking small breaks throughout the day to get up and stretch improves concentration and productivity. Take your lunch break and spend half of it taking a brisk walk outside. Walking helps your mental wellbeing in terms of reducing stress, anxiety and fatigue, but it also improves your mood and self-esteem as well as your physical health: walking 30 minutes a day will help you lose that extra holiday weight, increases cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Finally, being outside will help fight Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Fill your office with plants, as they are shown to reduce stress, increase happiness, boost productivity and creativity, and cleanse your air. According to HGTV, ferns, spider plants, bamboo, and mint are among some the best plants that do well in low-light offices in Canada.
Discover the Why
You’re getting a proper night’s sleep, taking walks outside, and drinking plenty of water. You’ve created new projects and are more organized than ever, yet you’re still feeling unmotivated. It’s time to figure out the why. Take the time to decide what you want in your career and what will make you happy. Figure out if you can change things up at work or whether you need to start looking for something new. A great resource to figuring out what you need in a career and for a work-life balance is Barbara Moses’ book What Next?
Get over the post-holiday blues at your own pace and in the method that works best for you, and once you’re ready, embrace the new year and all it holds.
Lisa Day | Contributing Writer